Consumer Reports: Kinect not 'racist'

November 5, 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.

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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?

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