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Microsoft files patent for Kinect age detection

A patent request has been revealed for Kinect that would enable the device to determine player ages, and deliver appropriate content.

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A Microsoft patent, filed in March 2010, demonstrates the company's interest in enabling the Kinect to determine the relative ages of players in the room, by looking at body metrics. The new feature would enable the console to display age-appropriate content on the fly, adjusting said content if younger players enter or leave the room.

The USPTO patent (via Eurogamer) explains that the "age group" of a player can be determined based on the 3D body model that Kinect captures. Relative head and body size, arm length-to-body ratio, "and/or a ratio of head-width to shoulder width," can all be factors.

Based on the user's determined age, his or her profile is automatically updated with the appropriate parental control permissions. Content can also be substituted when a person belonging to a lower age group enters the field of view.

The patent also describes how the parental control feature will handle when folks of differing ages are both present. For example, an adult could watch an R-rated movie alone, and a child might only have access to G-rated movies. However, when both are present, a PG-rating threshold would be implemented for both parties.

As cool as giving Kinect the age-guessing skills of a carnival barker might sound, it's really just a fancy parental-control tool. Be that as it may, good parenting will continue to be the best way to make sure your kids aren't watching or playing things they shouldn't.

There's no word when (or if) Microsoft plans to roll the new tech, and the patent is still awaiting approval.

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From The Chatty

  • reply
    October 3, 2011 1:00 PM

    Jeff Mattas posted a new article, Microsoft files patent for Kinect age detection.

    A patent request has been revealed for Kinect that would enable the device to determine player ages, and deliver appropriate content.

    • reply
      October 3, 2011 1:02 PM

      Hmm so what if a really short guy enters the room?

    • reply
      October 3, 2011 1:04 PM

      There's a Tyrian Lannister joke in here somewhere.

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        October 3, 2011 1:05 PM

        haha, i was just searching his quotes to come up with something clever ... but i failed

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      October 3, 2011 1:09 PM

      Just imagine problems with dwarves :D This is not gonna work :D

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      October 3, 2011 1:56 PM

      Creeeepy.

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      October 3, 2011 3:44 PM

      I see that one of your legs is only 8 inches. You must be a child.

    • reply
      October 3, 2011 4:02 PM

      Powered by Soul Collosus Algorithms.

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        October 3, 2011 4:39 PM

        Child detected. Switching to X-Ray mode.

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      October 3, 2011 4:26 PM

      it counts your pubes

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        October 3, 2011 6:21 PM

        Dude, no one under 40 has pubes any more

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      October 3, 2011 4:47 PM

      Yeah, this ain't gonna work on me.

      It'll probably think I'm a 14 year old girl.

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      October 3, 2011 4:47 PM

      Kinect: "I swear I thought she was 18!"

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      October 3, 2011 5:11 PM

      "Speaking of friend codes and Project Natal, should we talk about pedophile detection?... That's all that it is... if you're wearing the Vitality Sensor and Milo shows up, and it detects your heart rate quickens, then the new Microsoft system will switch over to a friend codes mode, to prevent you from friending children... So get ready for that, that's the actual future of games."

      -- Jake Rodkin, Idle Thumbs 35, 1:10:09