According to a recent report posted by Gamespot.com, Microsoft’s newest body and voice recognition device, called Kinect, is reportedly having trouble recognizing people with darker skin tones. This has many people calling the Kinect out on being “racist”, much like the incident with HPs webcam that some of you may remember from last year.
The report, which was published on the website last week, said that the Kinect device recognized its lighter-skinned testers consistently, but failed to recognize its darker-skinned testers at least twice. This led to talks of the “racist” video game device before the official release in some areas even happened.
Although it did not reduce the level of playability, it did draw issues to its face recognition feature, which Microsoft previously promoted as a “breakthrough” in the video game industry. Microsoft blames issues in lighting levels, and according to a recent test by Consumer Reports, adjusting the lighting level did make it easier for the device to recognize darker-skinner players.
“Here’s what we found: The log-in problem is related to low-level lighting and not directly to players’ skin color,” Consumer Reports said in a statement. “Essentially, the Kinect recognized both players at light levels typically used in living rooms at night and failed to recognize both players when the lights were turned down lower. So far, we did not experience any instance where one player was recognized and the other wasn’t under the same lighting conditions.”
Still, many gamers have publicly said its inability to recognize darker-skinner players is a “huge issue”, and have even said they may avoid purchasing the product because of this issue. Despite Consumer Reports’ recent report, many believe the Microsoft Kinect device is being intentionally racist.
With the recent November 4th release of the highly anticipated Kinect, could this revelation affect sales for Microsoft? Reports said that over 2,000 people were lined up in Times Square alone for the midnight release so it’s not likely this has slowed the sales of the Kinect all that much.
Games release along with the November 4th premiere of the Kinect include:
- Kinect Sports
- Kinect Adventures
- Kinect Joyride
- Your Shape: Fitness Evolved from Ubisoft
- Dance Central from Harmonix and MTV Games
- Milo and Kate
- Bruswick Pro Bowling
There are many more upcoming titles promised as well. But will the bad publicity from this Kinect bug on release affect the amount of sales that the device may have in the coming days and weeks? Only time can tell for sure.
Crunchgear.com- Is the Kinect Racist?