Consumer Reports: Kinect not 'racist'

Nov 05, 2010

(AP) -- Looking to debunk a report that Microsoft's new motion-sensing video game controller might be racist, Consumer Reports says it found no evidence that Kinect has problems recognizing users with darker skin.

GameSpot, a popular video game website, said earlier it found through testing Kinect that its camera system did not work properly for some players with darker skin.

Consumer Reports said Thursday the problem is related to low-level lighting, and not directly to players' skin color. Kinect's camera, it says, needs enough light and contrast so it can determine players' facial features. Then it can perform software recognition and log them in to the Xbox gaming system.

Microsoft Corp. launched on Thursday.

Explore further: Four questions about missing Malaysian plane answered

not rated yet
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Microsoft links new smart phones to Xbox Live

Aug 17, 2010

(AP) -- Microsoft Corp. is bringing its video-game expertise to the forthcoming Windows Phone 7 line, an attempt to capitalize on the success of the Xbox 360 as the software maker tries to compete with Apple Inc.'s iPhone.

Microsoft to launch Kinect in Japan in November

Sep 08, 2010

Microsoft's long-awaited Kinect motion-sensing system for the Xbox 360 videogame console will hit the Japanese market in November, the company said Wednesday, as competition in the sector heats up.

Recommended for you

Four questions about missing Malaysian plane answered

14 hours ago

Travelers at Asian airports have asked questions about the March 8 disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 while en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing. Here are some of them, followed by answers.

Under some LED bulbs whites aren't 'whiter than white'

Apr 18, 2014

For years, companies have been adding whiteners to laundry detergent, paints, plastics, paper and fabrics to make whites look "whiter than white," but now, with a switch away from incandescent and fluorescent lighting, different ...

Freight train industry to miss safety deadline

Apr 16, 2014

The U.S. freight railroad industry says only one-fifth of its track will be equipped with mandatory safety technology to prevent most collisions and derailments by the deadline set by Congress.

User comments : 7

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

not rated yet Nov 05, 2010
So turn on a light?
5 / 5 (2) Nov 05, 2010
its a bit more than than just turning on a light...

I am black and every black person I know already knows from childhood up that if you are posing for a picture you MUST have the light source in front of you. If the sun is shining it you take the picture with you facing the sun otherwise you will appear as a giant shadow wearing clothes in the picture. Its annoying but it comes with the territory --

Now when setting up a living room or whatever room - the natural place to put lighting is in the center of the room preferably over head. And the Ideal location for a television with a Xbox attached is along a wall. This places the light source behind or directly above the person using the system.

turning on a light will not help much at all... however what would do the trick might be the system automatically adjusting its usage of IR light in the room. digital cameras can detect IR radiation with ease ( look at a remote with a cell phone camera while pressing a button )
not rated yet Nov 05, 2010
now most cameras autocorrect for too much IR and disregard that part of the spectrum becuase humans can't see it anyway and the information would distort the picture. humans can;t see that part of the spectrum anyway. But using InfraRed more would actually help in this case to illuminate darker people.

And hey if you are black in a dark blue room you already know cameras can't take a picture of you in that room anyway.

And MS if you use my idea -- you can go ahead and send me the checks in the mail.
not rated yet Nov 05, 2010
i dont think microsoft would want to conciously miss out on black money, they could however more care for its specific customer needs, wich might be overloooked if the device is perhaqps only tested by chinese (dare i say yellow in this context?) manufacturer or something
1 / 5 (2) Nov 05, 2010
Narrow sighted/minded engineering can't be considered racist haha.
not rated yet Nov 05, 2010
This places the light source behind or directly above the person using the system.

Actually, a light behind a person creates the needed contrast between the background and foreground to be picked up by the camera. Also, doesn't the TV itself inevitably count as a pretty significant source of light to illuminate a person's front?
not rated yet Nov 08, 2010
arguements against distort --

the issue is really facial recognition, that cannot be solved by a simple increase in contrast, it seems like a good idea but inactuality you end up just being a shadow on a wall... and not a translucent shadow but a dark opaque shadow that no information cna really be read from.

as for the tv agruement - well if the screen was totally white -- but who wants to look at that?

More news stories

Ex-Apple chief plans mobile phone for India

Former Apple chief executive John Sculley, whose marketing skills helped bring the personal computer to desktops worldwide, says he plans to launch a mobile phone in India to exploit its still largely untapped ...

Airbnb rental site raises $450 mn

Online lodging listings website Airbnb inked a $450 million funding deal with investors led by TPG, a source close to the matter said Friday.

Health care site flagged in Heartbleed review

People with accounts on the enrollment website for President Barack Obama's signature health care law are being told to change their passwords following an administration-wide review of the government's vulnerability to the ...

A homemade solar lamp for developing countries

( —The solar lamp developed by the start-up LEDsafari is a more effective, safer, and less expensive form of illumination than the traditional oil lamp currently used by more than one billion people ...

NASA's space station Robonaut finally getting legs

Robonaut, the first out-of-this-world humanoid, is finally getting its space legs. For three years, Robonaut has had to manage from the waist up. This new pair of legs means the experimental robot—now stuck ...

Filipino tests negative for Middle East virus

A Filipino nurse who tested positive for the Middle East virus has been found free of infection in a subsequent examination after he returned home, Philippine health officials said Saturday.

Egypt archaeologists find ancient writer's tomb

Egypt's minister of antiquities says a team of Spanish archaeologists has discovered two tombs in the southern part of the country, one of them belonging to a writer and containing a trove of artifacts including reed pens ...