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Is Microsoft's Kinect racist? No, says Consumer Reports

Written by Andre Yoskowitz (Google+) @ 05 Nov 2010 16:39 User comments (15)

Is Microsoft's Kinect racist? No, says Consumer Reports Following Microsoft's launch of the Kinect motion control system yesterday, a couple of reviews from notable sites came in claiming that the "facial recognition" feature of the device was having trouble detecting people of darker skin.
One review, from GameSpot, had this to say: "Testing suggests facial recognition features of Microsoft's motion-sensing camera system might not work properly for some gamers... In testing the Kinect, two dark-skinned GameSpot employees had problems getting the system's facial recognition features to work."

Consumer Reports immediately took to the case, and has reported that Kinect is not "racist" in any way.

The site says that the facial recognition problems stems from lighting in the room and not from a player's skin tone. White or black, if you are in a room with low-level lighting, the system will have problems recognizing your face.

As for actually following the movements of players, CR says even in a pitch black room they had no issues with the Kinect seeing them.

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15 user comments

15.11.2010 16:49

It should be noted that there were media sites reporting this through wild fire imagination that this took Kinect to be racist, hence how this article got its title. Consumer Reports was not the only one to talk this down, PCMag was another site that claimed this was utter BS.

Some writers take controversy way too far just to get people to talk.

25.11.2010 17:16

Yes utter BS.

Technology cannot be racist. It can be poorly designed, dependent on contrast ratio between the subject and the environment, however it can not judge who is whom.

The best technology should consider all spectrums infrared to ultra violet. However with such technology others are afraid someone might see their underwear.

35.11.2010 20:59

You just sometimes have to adjust for ambient light.....which can obviously change over the course of the day.


45.11.2010 21:01

What next, huh?
'Cameras are racist'?

(cos in very poor light conditions they too can have problems defining people with darker skin. It's absurd nonsense.)

55.11.2010 22:42

Same BS that was going on about a year ago or so, with HP face recognition software. Racist my arse, all it is is people that call themselves reporters, they make up "headlines".
http://www.pcworld.com/article/185234/hp_our_webcams_are_not_racist.html

65.11.2010 22:58

I think that they are trying to imply that the company that made the device is racist; not the device itself.

Still, as much as I love to bash Microsoft, they are innocent on this one. Cameras have enough trouble in low light just getting something bright and reflective...something bright is a little harder, and a darker tone is nearly impossible.

Maybe if these people used their Kinect near some light source (maybe a TV?) it would work better.

76.11.2010 2:14

i have trouble seeing dark skined people in a dark area.I'm not trying to be racist just honest.if human eyes have trouble then how can a camera be any better.


custom built gaming pc from early 2010,ps2 with 15 games all original,ps3 500gbs with 5 games all original,yamaha amp and 5.1channel surround sound speakers,46inch sony lcd smart tv.

86.11.2010 13:01

Originally posted by mammysaysimnaughty:

You, are ,a, SAD SAD SAD SAD, pathetic little man, thats what you are.
mammysaysimnaughty, take some of your own

96.11.2010 20:41

mammysaysimnaughty has been hit by lightning. posts deleted.

106.11.2010 23:47

Possibly there are differences inherent between races, for example white easily get sunburns, blacks have sickle-cell anaemia, blacks as I learned while doing my water training in the navy have a harder time swimming mainly because there bones are more dense and heavier, and still white man can't jump :) These are facts of life (well not the jumping part), I hope people aren't so damn PC now a days that if any difference is ever found between races they are misconstrued as racist statements.

117.11.2010 6:04

I've seen black kids using it they didn't have any problems with it.

129.11.2010 5:22

Originally posted by SomeBozo:
blacks as I learned while doing my water training in the navy have a harder time swimming mainly because there bones are more dense and heavier, and still white man can't jump
LoL...Their bones are too heavy to swim? That is bad news for any black basketball players that might have to jump...good thing there are so few black people in the NBA!


139.11.2010 7:10

Originally posted by KillerBug:
Originally posted by SomeBozo:
blacks as I learned while doing my water training in the navy have a harder time swimming mainly because there bones are more dense and heavier, and still white man can't jump
LoL...Their bones are too heavy to swim? That is bad news for any black basketball players that might have to jump...good thing there are so few black people in the NBA!
I said harder to swim, not that they couldn't. Being such an intelligent person as you want to come across as, thought you knew the difference.

1412.11.2010 12:45

Originally posted by SomeBozo:
Possibly there are differences inherent between races, for example white easily get sunburns, blacks have sickle-cell anaemia, blacks as I learned while doing my water training in the navy have a harder time swimming mainly because there bones are more dense and heavier, and still white man can't jump :) These are facts of life (well not the jumping part), I hope people aren't so damn PC now a days that if any difference is ever found between races they are misconstrued as racist statements.
Very well said! You took the words right out of my mouth.
This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 12 Nov 2010 @ 12:45

1512.11.2010 14:13

I swear minorities just sit around looking for things to cry racism.. its just getting to be pathetic..

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