Kinect's adult-content blocker could screw over short people

If you're short, things are about to get worse — if you're into Kinect. A new patent filed by Microsoft suggests it's planning to use Kinect's body detecting powers to guess a user's age and block content when necessary, based on pre-configured parental settings.

Basically, the patent says a 3D depth camera (Kinect) can be used to estimate the measurements of a user's head, shoulders, torso and height in order to predict the person's age.

How many things do you see wrong with that? For starters, if you're an adult who's small and short, you can easily be mistaken for a kid, and all your favorite M-rated games could be blocked every time you log into your Xbox 360.

On the other spectrum, if you're a kid who just happens to be big-boned and large for your age, you could be mistaken as an adult, and well, let's just say mommy won't be happy to see you fragging it out in Gears of War.

Or, as GeekWire's dug out from the patent, 'the technology could work dynamically -- detecting when a kid enters the room, for example, and switching to more appropriate content."

Filed in March 2010, but not made public until recently, the USPTO has yet to grant Microsoft the patent. I sure hope Microsoft's Kinect hardware is up to snuff, because I happen to be in the short boat, and it'd suck badly if it thought I was some 15-year-old kid.

USPTO and GeekWire, via CVG

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