Kinect has problems recognizing dark-skinned users [Update]

This morning Kinect was launched in North America to millions of eager customers, and as reviews are still rolling in on the device, another weird "review" states that Kinect can't properly recognize dark-skinned users, according to Gamespot.

According to the report, Kinect had trouble with the facial recognition with two out of three dark-skinned employees. The system was unable to properly track two of the employees faces, but didn't have any trouble tracking their body movements. Even with repeated calibration attempts, Kinect was unable to properly identity one of the dark-skinned employees.

This doesn't prevent dark-skinned users from playing the system and enjoying the gameplay, but some of these users may need to sign in manually each time to get Kinect started, rather than relying on facial recognition to sign them in.

This wouldn't be the first time that a device had troubles detecting dark-skinned faces, such as HP's webcam had trouble detecting non-caucasion faces. The software algorithm had issues tracking dark-skinned faces, much like the Kinect does.

This minor annoyance with the add-on shouldn't deter people from purchasing the new device, but be cautioned that not all of the features will be available to dark-skinned people. Hopefully Microsoft will release an update or quick fix for the issue in the near future. Don't forget to check out how Kinect works here.

Update: Consumer Reports claims that the initial reports by GameSpot was untrue, and the issue deals with poor lighting. However, until further tests can be performed, it's hard to believe which story is true.

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Daily Gaming: November 4, 2010