GameSpot: Problems with Kinect and Dark-Skinned Users

November 4, 2010 -

A story on GameSpot details the problems two dark-skinned site employees had with Microsoft’s Kinect, the just-released, controller-free add-on for the Xbox 360.

According to the site, the two employees in question had problems with Kinect’s facial recognition abilities. One GameSpoter’s face was recognized “inconsistently,” while when it came to the face of the other staffer, Kinect was “never able to properly identify the other despite repeated calibration attempts.”

To make it even more confounding, Kinect had “no problems” recognizing the face of a third dark-skinned employee. No hurdles were reported with Kinect’s skeletal tracking system for any of the employees, which is good, as it is the primary means of controlling on-screen action.

The problem may or may not be that big of a deal however, as GameSpot wrote:

The system's inability to recognize a user only means that he or she would need to sign in manually and some games' features may not work properly as a result. For example, when a second player joins in to Kinect Adventures during the title's drop-in, drop-out multiplayer, the system can't bring up that player's proper in-game avatar automatically if it can't identify the new user first.


Comments

Re: GameSpot: Problems with Kinect and Dark-Skinned Users

How long until the NCAA, Jesse Jackson, and Al Sharpton get involved with this?  How long until racism allegation pop up and say MS is racist?

 

Re: GameSpot: Problems with Kinect and Dark-Skinned Users

Anyone remember the show, Better Off Ted?  There was an episode where the company wired all the technology in the building (lights, doors, elevators, water fountains) to facial recognition cameras, to save money.  But the cameras wouldn't recognize black people.  Lights would shut off on them when white people left the room, they got trapped in rooms and elevators by the automatic doors, couldn't get a drink, etc.  The company eventually hired white people to follow the black employees around to activate things for them, and put in a separate water fountain for blacks (it was more hilarious than it sounds).

Re: GameSpot: Problems with Kinect and Dark-Skinned Users

I knew this issue ever since MS bought the company that invented the camera... (I was named Z Cam or something like that), there was reports of black (not just dark skinned) journalists not getting even skeletal tracking to work. --- Maurício Gomes twitter.com/agfgames
--- Maurício Gomes twitter.com/agfgames

Re: GameSpot: Problems with Kinect and Dark-Skinned Users

Re: GameSpot: Problems with Kinect and Dark-Skinned Users

Thats the exact video I was reminded of myself

Re: GameSpot: Problems with Kinect and Dark-Skinned Users

 Class Action Lawsuit, anyone?

Re: GameSpot: Problems with Kinect and Dark-Skinned Users

More like a lolsuit, amerite?

------------------------------------------------------------ My DeviantArt Page (aka DeviantCensorship): http://www.darkknightstrikes.deviantart.com

Re: GameSpot: Problems with Kinect and Dark-Skinned Users

As I and another poster mentioned, virutally every face recognition device on the market has problems like this. Some can't track black faces, some can't pick white faces out in bright light or against a light background, some think asians have their eyes closed. The biggest consumer victory I've heard of over the fact is a refund of the price difference down to a comparable modle without blink detection.

As for the other poster, a wheelchair bound or obese person can collect if a theme park doesn't have accessability ramps for them to get in. They can't collect because they're physically or medically unable to go on the rides.

Re: GameSpot: Problems with Kinect and Dark-Skinned Users

This would imply that most class action lawsuites are designed in the interest of the class, and not to profit the firm bringing it to court. Last I checked, in North America, class action lawsuites are generally filed when the is a high enough statistical chance of some form of judgement or ruling, not when it is a fair lawsuite.

Re: GameSpot: Problems with Kinect and Dark-Skinned Users

If anyone's going to sue I'd expect it to be those who are entirely prevented from using the device.  Like people who need wheelchairs.  Or people who are too out of shape (read "morbidly obese") to play for more than a minute.

===============

Chris Kimberley

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Chris Kimberley

Re: GameSpot: Problems with Kinect and Dark-Skinned Users

You know I'm in a wheelchair but it'd never occur to me to sue over something like this. But then Scotland is a less litigious than the US. 

Re: GameSpot: Problems with Kinect and Dark-Skinned Users

Hasn't this happened basically every time some company comes out with a facial recognition thing, I remember there was a story with a camera thinking Asian/Oriental people had their eyes closed.

Re: GameSpot: Problems with Kinect and Dark-Skinned Users

This is kind of a recurring problem with this kind of tech it seems. My camera has face recognition, and it's very inconsistent with dark skinned subjects - sometimes even a deep tan will throw it off. I've seen pictures online showing how cameras with blink detection will occasionally detect asian faces as blinking.

Re: GameSpot: Problems with Kinect and Dark-Skinned Users

I actually find this incredibly amusing.  Apparently Avenue Q was right; everyone is just a little bit racist.  :)

 
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E. Zachary KnightAs for the whole "death of gamer" thing, I am personally patiently waiting for the day when being a person who plays games is as much of an identity as a person who reads books, watches tv/movie, listens to music. It will happen.09/18/2014 - 2:42pm
E. Zachary KnightThought I would share this io9 article as a bit of a rebuttal to the earlier Spider-man/Spider-woman comparison: http://io9.com/10-stupid-arguments-people-use-to-defend-comic-book-sex-163638182409/18/2014 - 2:41pm
Papa MidnightKyle Orland's response: http://arstechnica.com/gaming/2014/09/addressing-allegations-of-collusion-among-gaming-journalists/09/18/2014 - 12:41pm
Papa MidnightJames, I say this as a person who has managed a gaming press website before: This article is horrendous sensationalism: http://www.breitbart.com/Breitbart-London/2014/09/17/Exposed-the-secret-mailing-list-of-the-gaming-journalism-elite09/18/2014 - 12:41pm
Krono@james I never said you did. I was responding to Andrew's statement that he'd seen a mere two articles suggesting that the term gamer was tainted, by pointing him to a list of the articles that were more or less the orgin of the idea.09/18/2014 - 12:09pm
E. Zachary KnightBut james, you replied to my tweet when I tweeted about one of those articles. That is basically the same thing as writing an editorial on GP in support of it. ;)09/18/2014 - 12:04pm
james_fudgeNot only did we not write one, we didn't cover any of them either.09/18/2014 - 11:46am
KronoThe underlying suggestion most of the articles had that gamers supporting the issue were just the young men stereotype pissed off a lot of people, and sparked the #NotYourShield tag09/18/2014 - 9:41am
Krono@andrew Just two? The whole reason #GamerGate gained real traction was that 9 op-eds including arguments to that effect dropped in 24 hours: http://markdownshare.com/view/a524affd-e679-40be-8aa1-72058065dc2a09/18/2014 - 9:38am
MaskedPixelantehttp://www.gog.com/forum/general/double_fine_abandoned_spacebase_df9_development ITT: People who don't know what Early Access is.09/18/2014 - 9:32am
ZippyDSMleeFF2/4 remake now on steam.09/18/2014 - 9:13am
james_fudgeThis what they really think of us: http://www.donotlink.com/framed?54192709/18/2014 - 9:10am
ConsterAh yes, nothing quite says "I take offense to being associated with an awful few" like siding with said awful few.09/18/2014 - 9:07am
Michael ChandraSo be smart, and if you want to be part of the good guys, separate yourself from the bad guys. Don't attack those upset you won't.09/18/2014 - 6:30am
Michael ChandraMeanwhile, Gamergate is tainted and wise people already use a different tag to defend decent arguments. Keeping it up is like going #KKK while arguing about PoC.09/18/2014 - 6:30am
Michael ChandraSo while claiming to be unfairly attacked for the actions of a selected few, you unfairly attack an entire crowd for the actions of a selected few? #notagamer #butahater09/18/2014 - 6:30am
james_fudgeQuiknkold: Let me ask you- how many of those 'gamers are dead' articles did you see here? Because apparently i'm part of some vast conspiracy.09/18/2014 - 5:18am
NeenekoAh, that old straw man. That is one of the ironies about the discussion, the whole point is showing how good people can still have problems with sexism and not realize it.09/17/2014 - 9:11pm
Andrew EisenYes, there have been a handful of op-eds suggesting that the term “gamer” has become tainted (two that I know of) but that’s the opinion of only a few. I've seen an equal number from those who disagree.09/17/2014 - 8:55pm
Andrew EisenExcept, you haven't provided a single example of a site that’s actually calling gamers a "collective of Sexist White Bigoted Basement Dwelling Manchildren."09/17/2014 - 8:55pm
 

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