Kinect May Have Issues with Dark-Skinned Users

GameSpot reports that while testing out Kinect, the system failed to identify two dark-skinned employees, while lighter-skinned employees were recognized immediately. However, the situation with Kinect’s facial recognition isn’t so black and white. GS’s Brendan Sinclair writes that though system recognized one employee inconsistently and was never able to properly identify another despite repeated calibration attempts, it was able to recognize a third dark-skinned staff member. Though this could be put down to Kinect’s facial recognition software just being dodgy as a whole, Sinclair reports lighter-skinned employees were consistently picked up on the first try.

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[Update] Consumer Reports has done a little test to see if Kinect really is ‘racist,’ as many sites are reporting. The consumer advocate group says that it is similar to the HP webcam problem in that the Kinect cameras need a certain amount of light to recognize faces. CR found that the system had problems recognizing users with both light and dark skin when there was insufficient light in the gaming environment, and added that there wasn’t any instance when one person was recognized and another wasn’t under the same lighting conditions.

Check out what Consumer Reports had to say:

We were big fans of Samsung’s first 360-degree camera, but has some issues with its compatibility (it only worked with Samsung smartphones) and its design (it required a selfie stick). With the second version of the, Samsung appears to have addressed both of those problems, and improved the quality of video, too.

Design-wise, the new Gear 360 has a small handle below its bulbous top; a large record button on the handle allows you to start and stop recordings.

— as well as the iPhone 6S, 6S Plus, SE, 7, and 7 Plus. Despite the competition between Samsung and Apple, making this camera compatible with iOS will definitely increase its popularity.

Like the original, the new Gear 360 connects to a smartphone via Wi-Fi (802.11ac) and Bluetooth 4.1, though it also has a USB Type-C port so you can attach it directly to a PC or Mac. It’s water and dust resistant, so it’ll survive a splash, but not much more. Also like the first Gear 360, this one has a microSD card slot, as well as an internal battery.

While longer at 3.9 inches (because of the handle), the new Gear 360 is slightly less bulbous than the original, with a diameter of about 1.8 inches (compared to 2.2-2.4 inches for the first Gear 360). It’s also lighter, at 4.6 ounces.

The Gear 360 will be available for pre-order on March 30, and will go on sale on April 21.