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Microsoft Patents Privacy Television Your Rights Online

Estimating Age With Kinect's 3D Camera To Filter Content 102

Posted by Soulskill
from the can-i-choose-what's-objectionable dept.
theodp writes "Hal in 2001: 'I'm sorry, Dave. I'm afraid I can't do that [open the pod bay doors].' Kinect in 2011: 'I'm sorry, Dave Jr. I'm afraid I can't do that [tune in to the Spice Channel].' A Microsoft patent filing made public this week proposes to restrict access to TV, movies and video games by using a 3D depth camera to estimate viewers' ages based upon the dimensions and proportions of a person's body, such as head width to shoulder width, and torso length to overall height. For adults with short arms or other seemingly childlike proportions, settings can be overridden by someone with an administrator password."
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Estimating Age With Kinect's 3D Camera To Filter Content

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    "Junior, what is the admin password?"

  • Unplug the 360(or future console), then plug the cable into the TV, and you're back to a regular TV, no password needed.

    Ryan Fenton

    • Cable and Internet TV get to be a lot more racy than Broadcast. MS is planning to provide cable content through the XBox, so bill-payers just may decide to drop the cable box.

      And if they do that, the kids are going to circumvent the XBox to watch... what, exactly?

  • What happens if instead of accessing racy content, the user provides racy content to the Kinect? I would probably pull a Buffalo Bill/"Goodbye Horses" striptease and let nature take its course.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      Raises the question, not begs. Please be smart when posting here.

      • Can I beg to "raise your mom"?
      • by Anonymous Coward

        Give it up; the cause is lost. Prescriptivism rarely prevails, and the common, incorrect usage makes sense anyway.

        • Wrong. The cause is never lost because language is fluid. Keep complaining and usage can change back again.

          Think about it. If usage were truly too hard to change, then it would never have become incorrect in the first place.

          Begging the question [wikipedia.org] is a fallacy.

      • by sjames (1099)

        I'm sorry Mr. Coward, your horse has died. There was nothing anyone could do...

  • Cardboard hacks (Score:3, Insightful)

    by fragfoo (2018548) on Saturday October 01, 2011 @11:56AM (#37577336)
    I imagine a kid making a silhouette of an adult with cardboard or something.
    • Better yet - using a conveniently available blow-up doll would be wonderfully ironic. Using the forbidden creepy doppelganger to access forbidden knowledge. :^)

      Ryan Fenton

      • by Baloroth (2370816)
        I rather think that if your kids have convenient access to a blow-up doll, the TV is going to be a pretty small problem by comparison.
        • Depends on what knowledge the parents consider 'forbidden'. Might be the lesser of evils for the child to attempt to use their "boxing buddy" (non-sexual blow-up figure) to allow them to see the science channels - but I'd expect a LOT of very interesting variations on that story.

          Ryan Fenton

      • by fragfoo (2018548)

        Better yet - using a conveniently available blow-up doll would be wonderfully ironic. Using the forbidden creepy doppelganger to access forbidden knowledge. :^)

        Ryan Fenton

        Have you ever seen a blow up doll? They usually are smaller than an adult =P

        • by monkyyy (1901940)

          read the summery, its not based on size, other wise the kid could just walk closer to the tv

    • by Alworx (885008)

      Even better, a blow up doll!!

    • by Baloroth (2370816)
      Good luck making a flat-cardboard silhouette look human to a 3d camera.
      • by fragfoo (2018548)
        Kinect is not a 3d camera. Unless the setup has several kinects but thats not the usual.
        • by _0xd0ad (1974778)

          Here [wikipedia.org], lest you look like an idiot again in the future.

          Kinect is based on software technology developed internally by Rare, a subsidiary of Microsoft Game Studios owned by Microsoft, and on range camera technology by Israeli developer PrimeSense, which interprets 3D scene information from a continuously-projected infrared structured light.[26][27] This 3D scanner system called Light Coding[28] employs a variant of image-based 3D reconstruction.

        • by grumbel (592662)

          Huh? Kinect is a 3D camera. It gives you a nice depth map along with the regular video picture and it should be able to easily pick out a flat cardboard from a full 3D human.

  • How about they just tell parents to do the dirty work of parenting their children? I am all for innovation, but can't they focus their genius on something more worthwhile?
    • Re:Christ. (Score:4, Interesting)

      by hedwards (940851) on Saturday October 01, 2011 @12:14PM (#37577478)

      I was wondering how they intend to handle problems related to individuals that look young. The current hardware is just not good enough for this to work, but even in the future if they manage to get it to see the people, I can't imagine it coping with teens that are heavyset with beards or people that look like they're teens even though they're adults.

      Ultimately, if even bouncers and police officers sometimes get it wrong, I'm not sure how we can hope that an electronic device is going to do any better.

      • by Sperbels (1008585)

        I was wondering how they intend to handle problems related to individuals that look young.

        It's doubtful this would work the same way we identify youthfulness. It would probably look at something like the size of the head in proportion to the rest of the body. That would probably keep the number of false positives down. If if you are an adult who's that much out of proportion, you're probably too ugly to have kids anyway and you can just turn the feature off.

        • I was wondering how they intend to handle problems related to individuals that look young.

          It's doubtful this would work the same way we identify youthfulness. It would probably look at something like the size of the head in proportion to the rest of the body. That would probably keep the number of false positives down. If if you are an adult who's that much out of proportion, you're probably too ugly to have kids anyway and you can just turn the feature off.

          Either way, I predict an upswing in sales of wigs and fake mustache kits.

        • by sjames (1099)

          I'm sure little people everywhere will just love you for your remark.

    • by Baloroth (2370816)
      Parents are too busy making money to spend on toys like Xbox 360s to care for their kids. So they want some of the toys to do it for them. And Microsoft is happy to take their money to help.
    • by Nursie (632944)

      I thought that the inclusion of (usually optional) parental control settings was part of parenting, deciding whether your kids are ready for whatever's behind the lock.

      Or have you decided that when you spawn you're going to be around your kid 24/7 ?

      • by Mr2001 (90979)

        I thought that the inclusion of (usually optional) parental control settings was part of parenting, deciding whether your kids are ready for whatever's behind the lock.

        Covering up the parts of the world that make you uncomfortable is not parenting. Your kids will be exposed to that stuff whether you like it or not, so your job as a parent is to give them the knowledge and skills they need to understand it in context.

    • by Ironchew (1069966)

      While this is sold under the guise of easy parenting, I wouldn't be surprised if the real purpose of this feature is to silently collect demographic information for Microsoft or its advertising partners.

    • by cptdondo (59460)

      Yup. Not happening. At a guess my wife would be prohibited, while my 13 year old daughter would pass.

      I work with a woman in her 30s who regularly gets carded and accused of carrying fake ID. She has season tickets to a local college football team, and has been asked to leave because the guards suspect her of underage drinking.

      There's just too much variety in human body types and looks to work. Also, how is this thing going to work if the person is on the sofa under a blanket? Are we going to have to st

  • With those that have the (dwafism) growth hormone deficiency gene. There is nothing like being told that you are not average. I also see stuff like fatheads (life size posters http://www.fathead.com/ [fathead.com]) being a popular circumvention devices.
  • That should be used for detecting grey aliens abducting adult video gamers too!

  • In other news... Age verification is known to be overwritten by using one of these, giving the you full access: http://www.deal-cool.com/CustomerImgList/4544.htm [deal-cool.com]
  • i am very impressed with your life size replica of me in lego bricks. however, i don't know why you positioned me facing the television

  • Use the Kinect not for age detection, but identity verification. The adults who own the Kinect can see the mature content, the kids can't. No topical algorithms required. (Also, "head width to shoulder width" sort of, y'know, varies drastically between genders. Not a good metric to start from.)
  • I don't even worry about small or young-looking adults - the main problem with this kind of access restriction is that it may work nice for clear cases (your 9 year old son trying to access 18+ content). But it is guaranteed to fail when the required and real age are close together. Extreme case: You don't really look that much different one day before and one day after your birthday.

    Another poster has come up with a really clever, simple, straightforward and - in regard to these kinds of problems - reliabl

  • this shit is clearly designed for irresponsible parents who don't know how to take care of their own kids.
  • If I don't have my reading glasses on, I've got to hold books/menus/iPads at arm's length. So I guess my head would look small... however, my 5yr old, who has much shorter arms, could hold the device right up to his head and make it look like he had a giant head...

    • No. Distance to object and proportional ratios can be accurately gauged in the kinect and other motion control sensors. I'm not saying these gizmos can't be hacked, but not that way.
  • THAT'S what I call the implementation of "Tits or GTFO!" in practice!

    Too bad, it's completely useless for the stated purpose, just like everything coming from Microsoft.

  • .. coming in 3 , 2 ,1

    Filed by a relative of baby face Nelson on behalf of all 20 somethings who still look like 14.

  • Maybe this is the first step towards targeted advertising technology for television...
  • Kids will be asking for hulk hands and tall foam cowboy hats ...
  • ...the administrator is an adult with short arms or other seemingly childlike proportions? Would this call for an administrator's adminstrator's password?

    We are lucky we live in a world where the vast majority of patents never see the light of day. Thank (deity of your choice) this is one of them.

  • "I'm sorry, you cannot watch the food network due to your current girth. How about we tune in Biggest Loser instead?"

  • This won't work for elderly midgets.

  • Quote:

    '"I'll pay you tomorrow," he told the door. Again he tried the knob. Again it remained locked tight. "What I pay you," he informed it, "is in the nature of a gratuity; I don't have to pay you." "I think otherwise," the door said. "Look in the purchase contract you signed when you bought this conapt. You discover I'm right," the door said. It sounded smug.'

    Phillip K. Dick, UBIK

    CC.

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