So while we’ve been busy talking about the PlayStation Move technology, Microsoft finally realized people actually like motion sensor technology in their gaming systems. So they released the Kinect, which actually lets you play games and go through the Xbox user interface hands-free. In essence, it lets you play games with your body movements.
So obviously, the technology in the Kinect needs to be able to detect your body. But then GameStop tested the device, and found a little problem.
While testing out the Kinect, two dark-skinned GameSpot employees experienced problems with the system’s facial recognition abilities. The system recognized one employee inconsistently, while it was never able to properly identify the other despite repeated calibration attempts. However, Kinect had no problems identifying a third dark-skinned GameSpot employee, recognizing his face after a single calibration. Lighter-skinned employees were also consistently picked up on the first try.
So, of course, now comes the obvious question: why is the Kinect so racist? Where’s Kanye West to get on camera and declare “Steve Ballmer doesn’t care about black people”? Could this be part of a conspiracy on the part of tech companies to divide their fans by race? Remember which iPhone 4 Apple hasn’t released yet? The white one. Am I saying that Apple is trying to get more Black Panther fanboys and Microsoft is pandering to skinheads? No. But it is interesting how quickly I thought of it…
Consumer Reports, naturally, has to be such a buzzkill, writing that it’s just a lighting problem and that so long as you have enough lights on, the game should be able to detect your movements.
I still think there’s enough evidence to accuse Microsoft of being racist. Look at this photo.
This an ad they ran in the United States for, I assume, IT tools. Now, here’s that same exact ad released in Poland. See if you can spot the difference.
Whoops! This reminds me of a great joke: how many Polish people does it take to screw in a lightbulb? I don’t know, but it takes one Microsoft employee to screw up in Photoshop.