Printed from http://www.electronista.com

Kinect launches worldwide, may have trouble seeing dark skin

updated 12:45 am EDT, Thu November 4, 2010

Xbox 360 Kinect launches but with skin color issue

Microsoft tonight officially launched Kinect, its motion controller add-on. Early reports suggest Microsoft's aim of significant lineups was coming true, particularly at its New York City flagship event at Times Square. As many as five million controllers could ship by the end of 2010.

The peripheral uses a pair of cameras and a microphone to track whole-body gestures as well as recognize voice commands, allowing for games that theoretically never involve touching a physical controller. About 17 launch titles are onboard, four of which are from Microsoft itself. It ships in an add-on bundle with Kinect Adventures for $150 but can also be had in a 4GB Xbox 360 Arcade bundle for $300 and a 250GB version for $400.

An early launch problem may have arrived, however, according to one anecdote from testing. While skeletal tracking worked for all players, GameSpot reported having problems with facial recognition for two out of three dark-skinned players. One would only be recognized randomly by the Kinect's cameras, while the other had no success at all.

The problem isn't unique to Microsoft and is well known for having affected HP webcams with facial recognition software. Most such routines look for contrast in facial features and regularly have trouble when dark skin makes the differences harder to detect for the frequently low-resolution cameras. Kinect uses both a 640x480 main camera and a 320x240 monochrome camera for depth, the combination of which may make it harder to pick up darker tones.

Microsoft has said it designed the system to work properly for "all shapes and ethnicities" but has asked those with recognition problems to e-mail xaccess@microsoft.com.



By Electronista Staff
toggle

Comments

Login Here

Not a member of the MacNN forums? Register now for free.

toggle

Network Headlines

toggle

Most Popular

Sponsor

Recent Reviews

SMS Audio Sync Sport on-ear headphones

When hitting the gym or going out for a trail run, headphones can cause a number of problems. From the ear buds getting slimy with swe ...

Adesso Xtream S3B Bluetooth speaker

Finding a speaker purpose-built for a specific need is challenging. Even when a Bluetooth speaker can be paired with a mobile device, ...

JBL Synchros E40BT headphones

For all the different configurations of headphones on the market, it's always a tough choice for buyers to get something that is just ...

Sponsor

toggle

Most Commented

 
toggle

Popular News