Yesterday rumours where rife when an article by Gamespot seemed to show that the new XBOX Kinect motion sensor controller found it difficult to interact and pick up movements of people with darker skin tones – some bloggers started to try and stir up a hornets nest by suggesting the system was racist.
Gamespot themselves even admitted that it wasn’t a conclusive problem, some darker-skinned testers had problems with facial recognition when some others where fine. Their tests did show that the system worked well with all lighter-skinned reviewer’s – so what actually was the problem? Is the Kinect system racist?
This of course is pure nonsense and thankfully consumer reports stepped in and proved the system worked fine with all the tests, including people from all walks of life, creed and colour. The problem turned out to be the light in the room – when lights are dimmed the system reacts in the same way to players with light or dark skin, just like a web cam or digital camera – it makes sense when you think about it.
What is unclear is whether it was a problem with the light sensor on the test unit or a uniform problem, we expect it is an isolated problem because we have not seen any problems on our testing travels – that said, we don’t make a habit of moving around a room in the dark.
How can a console or device be racist? Answer: It can’t
Watch the test video that proves the point.