Microsoft: Using Kinect for Age Verification

Microsoft’s Kinect motion sensor platform has revolutionized the motion driven gaming market by making your body the controller for your x-box.  This sensory platform can detect the proportions of the human body and quite accurately deduce the subjects age using an algorithm specifically designed to do so. Microsoft has also requested a patent for the concept of age verification through its Kinect motion sensor.

Microsoft Kinect Body Proportion Recognition and Age Verification System

Microsoft Kinect Body Proportion Recognition and Age Verification System

Website GeekWire discovered a recently issued patent request,however the request dates back to March 2010. In said request Kinect is not mentioned specifically, but instead Microsoft refers to its technology as a ‘motion capture system’ with a ‘depth of field-camera’ that can be connected to a PC or console computer. According to the claim the age category of the player can be determined through a fully rendere three dimensional image that’s generated by the system for use with Kinect. The platform can collect data such as the width and length of a person’s head, the length of an arm, width of the shoulders and height. By calculating the proportions of the subject, the system can come up with a remarkably accurate estimation of a person’s age. Using the age information the system could potentially determine what the user should be allowed to use the system for. Imagine that by using this Microsoft can determine the age of your children and based on their age deny them access to potentially harmful content.

Of course this does come with a double edge. It could also mean that people who are shorter than average or those who have a more delicate build are denied access to certain content based on their physical dimensions rather than their true age.

As a precaution, Microsoft wants to build in a feature that disables sensitive or inapropriate content when a child walks in front of the camera. The corporate giant seems confident that the recorded data will be so accurate that it will be able to tell the difference between adults that are not of average height, teenagers and kids.

Earlier this year Gizmodo informed the public of Microsoft’s intention to use facial recognition to enhance the user experience. Through this feature Microsoft intends to make logging in to their products easier for users, facial recognition in Windows 8 will not require the use of Kinect though, any webcam should be able to enable facial recognition when using the new OS.

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