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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ZippyDSMleeEh still rather subjective… the haters would be better off going after teen and beauty rags and magazines than fiction, fiction follows reality and going after fiction tends to turn into a bullying fest’s… plus its fiction its unrealistic to start with….02/27/2015 - 1:10am
MechaTama31That's a pretty difficult anatomy to break.02/26/2015 - 11:09pm
MechaTama31"the way her animations repeatedly break her anatomy" <-- I'm sorry, but we are talking here about the woman who can roll up into a little ball and live to tell the tale, yes? ;)02/26/2015 - 11:09pm
Andrew EisenAs far as examples that could be culled from female game characters though, that one's pretty mild.02/26/2015 - 9:11pm
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E. Zachary KnightWell, Samus's heels are certainly impracticable, but I wouldn't really call her Zero suit objectified. I don't really feel that the new Lara Croft is objectified either, but that is my subjective opinion.02/26/2015 - 9:08pm
Andrew EisenTomb Raider: No but we haven't seen much of anything yet. Samus: Yes.02/26/2015 - 9:07pm
ZippyDSMleeWould you call the new tomb raider objectified? WOuld Samus Aran from the new Smash bros be objectified?02/26/2015 - 9:02pm
WonderkarpI'm hoping they put the rest of the comic book ghostbusters in there. Ortiz and Rookie(From GB the game)02/26/2015 - 8:38pm
Wonderkarpghostbusters board game is doing great. getting close too a 3rd extra playable Character. Ron Alexander.02/26/2015 - 8:37pm
Andrew EisenSmurfette is not subjective. If there's more than one female character, it's not Smurfette. Anyway, as with everything on the list, Smurfette is, in and of itself, not necessarily a bad thing.02/26/2015 - 8:32pm
Andrew EisenI think there's 5 women (out of 15, I think) but other than one being a bit more "hippy" than the others, they pretty much all have the same body type. Especially when compaired to the huge variety of male body types.02/26/2015 - 8:31pm
Wonderkarpso I dont see Smurfette as a bad thing. Unless like all your female characters are Smurfette. remember the Smurfs also had Sassette02/26/2015 - 8:29pm
E. Zachary KnightOne good example of the larger issues is one Anita used in the presentation, Blizzard's Overwatch game. There are a dozen men in the game with a dozen body types. But there are only 4 women with 2 body types, but 3 of them have the same one.02/26/2015 - 8:28pm
Wonderkarpthe smurfette thing is subjective to how many female characters you have. Take Sonic for example. You have Amy, who is obvious smurfette, but there's several other female characters now without that. Including the original animated seriescomics with Sally02/26/2015 - 8:28pm
E. Zachary KnightAE. Very true. I think that is where I was going, but it didn't come out right. Jack Harkness is sexy but not objectified. Whereas, a women would have to be objectified in order to be "sexy" in most games.02/26/2015 - 8:26pm
E. Zachary KnightAnd as Andrew pointed out, there is a big difference between a sexualized man, and an idealized man. But for some reason, there is no distinction between women in games. For the most part.02/26/2015 - 8:25pm
Andrew EisenI think one of the issues we run into repeatedly with these conversations is the confusion over "sexy" and "sexually objectified."02/26/2015 - 8:24pm
E. Zachary KnightYet, for some reason, in orde rto have a sexualized women, she must be wearing lingerie or a bikini. Can't women be sexual and still dress for the job at hand?02/26/2015 - 8:24pm
E. Zachary KnightThe problem I have with complaints of "sexualized men" is that men don't have to wear speedos to be sexualized. Captain Jack Harkness from Torchwood/Doctor Who, was one sexy man, but he spent 99% of his time in a WW2 soldier's trenchcoat.02/26/2015 - 8:23pm
 

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