Rumour: Project Natal struggles to see darker skin

It has been brought into question as to whether Microsoft's Project Natal struggles to interpret the movements of people with dark skin.

The alarm was first raised when Bitmob first reported on former Newsweek writer N-Gai Croal having difficulties with Microsoft's controller-less motion-sensing camera.

Research has actually been performed on the difficulties that near-infra-red cameras (Project Natal features an infra-red camera) have with dark skin, with the following study finding that the technology does indeed have more difficulty with darker skin.


[UPDATE] - Microsoft has responded to these concerns in the following story:

Microsoft: Natal will work for all ethnicities at launch

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Godmars2903328d ago

A racist game controller...

joydestroy3328d ago (Edited 3328d ago )

lol i was gonna say looks like us black folks are sol.

EDIT: lmao at below comments

gamesmaster3328d ago

natal ain't givin' it up for the brothers, daym

PinkUni3328d ago

that its convenient that its hard to see darker skin
and it was made in america?

kinda makes me chuckle

Blaze9293328d ago (Edited 3328d ago )

But maybe Microsoft will make a version for us black people, they call it Project Tyrone.

3328d ago
360 man3328d ago

damn i guess that dont bold well for me

hazeblaze3328d ago

Lol @ Microsoft doesn't like black ppl confirmed!

360 man3328d ago

its because n'gai is a fat sh!t

Why o why3328d ago (Edited 3328d ago )

Arrogant greenberg said it could see in the dark.....go figure

I know FFingers but maybe he should keep his mouth shut instead of hyping features that may not be needed. Basics first then extras. Digital cameras face tracking systems used to have a similar issue but time and tech fixed give it time

Fishy Fingers3328d ago (Edited 3328d ago )

Completely different.

Infa red is designed to be able to see in the dark, but it has problems tracing darker objects (or people) as they tend to have/give off different heat signatures.

krisq3328d ago

See in the dark - yes, see the dark - no

Black Maverick3328d ago

Kanye West: Project Natal doesn't care about black people!

Eamon3328d ago (Edited 3328d ago )

You made me chuckle

edgeofblade3328d ago


But that's because he's wearing business attire instead of shorts down to his knees. Natal works if you act white.

(I kid, I kid. I SOOOOO kid.)

beans3328d ago

Well then turn on the freaking lights. I could see the camera having trouble if someone were extremely dark with the lights dimmed just like someone being ghostly the white with the lights up lol. Whatever the case this type of rumor isn't the type of news that's good for MS.

rockleex3328d ago

What the bottom of N'Gai Croal's shoe looks like?

Well BAM! There it is!

50CALheadshot3328d ago (Edited 3328d ago )

this gives a new meaning to rrod:



Rainstorm813328d ago (Edited 3328d ago )

Looking at how much fun sugar ray leonard and friends are having playing, Look at how accurate their driving was. All three not only crashed but it looked like they couldnt even stay on the road!!!

Maybe the rumor has some truth to it.

"This is How I really Drive!" - Sugar Ray Leonard (Demoing Burnout using Natal as he continually crashed)

marinelife93328d ago

Now the white guy can win in the new boxing game.

FragMnTagM3328d ago (Edited 3328d ago )

"This image illustrates the "Black Hot" feature of the camera. With this mode selected hotter areas appear blacker and cooler areas appear more white. This mode is very useful for night time navigation and suspect pursuit. This image was taken at night in near total darkness."

From here:

The quote is from under the the first IR image that is orange and purple. Basically anything that is cold (dark skinned people), shows up bright and anything is hot shows up black. It could have a setting on it to notice black people. Don't see how it would work if there is a black and white person trying to play the same game, unless the lights are not dim.

na2ru13328d ago

Some stay blind while others hesitate CHOCOLATE RAIIIN!

*Takes a breath*

History quickly crashing through my vains CHOCOLATE RAIIIN!

360 man3328d ago

ahhh hahahaaha looooooooooooooool

ThanatosDMC3328d ago

Bubbles for you! HAHAHAH!

tplarkin73328d ago (Edited 3328d ago )

This rumor is nonsense. The vast majority of your body is covered in clothes. The reason we wear clothes is that Eve bit the forbidden fruit and gave it to Adam. They immediately felt shame of their nudity and hid from each other.

-EvoAnubis-3327d ago

That made me LOL in a public place. Bubbles.

indysurfn3327d ago

Several black stars had NO trouble with it. Maybe there was a problem, other than skin. Heck even my cam knows to adjust to my skin color!

FamilyGuy3327d ago

They're also in an all white, fully lit room. And they keep crashing, and some of there hands cross over eachother because they're not use to holding on to "nothing" while driving.

M$ sure does love celebrities...

techie3327d ago

If you look in these videos, you'll see that Microsoft is using stock footage:

The Burnout Paradise footage is the same in each isn't real.

skip2mylou3327d ago

Deep is right the vids are the same

aksmashh3327d ago

First I get racist comments on xbox live & now there equipment aswell LoL

At least it will easier on NBA streets "white man can't jump" :)

Tito Jackson3327d ago

(see vid for explanation)

Hildor_muthafo3327d ago

Enough with this guy... seriously. Let it go man, LET IT GO!

+ Show (31) more repliesLast reply 3327d ago
Hiruma Youchi3328d ago (Edited 3328d ago )

I dont think this will be a real problem... Natal is still @ a early stage and When you Watch Other Videos other Black people dint come across those issues.

If it was to be true tho I'd be screwed.

LeonSKennedy4Life3328d ago

Should I tell him or do you guys want to?

Model3328d ago

how much longer is it going to be in "early" stage ? till next generation ?

50CALheadshot3328d ago

you dont have to tell him, let him buy it....and then he can join the hddvd fans and their failure hardware when this flops more than anderson varejao in the paint.

Homicide3327d ago

It's true. I never saw any issues in the black celebrities videos.

indysurfn3327d ago

this SPECULATION of it being in early stage by writers are incorrect. The day they announced it they announce it in in route (in shipping) to ALL developers. and not at a extra cost! Also it was so advanced that they retro fitted Burn out, a game that has BEEN out with it! AND It works just find! That is not early! Is the Sony controller in shipment to their developers? NOPE so why are you trying to put down Microsoft as early? Irrational hypocrites!

+ Show (2) more repliesLast reply 3327d ago
Omega43328d ago

So how does it work in the dark, since everyone would have dark skin then

No wonder its coming out in more than a years time, but even in its early stages its still groundbreaking

specialguest3328d ago

I was wondering about the samething. Everyone becomes darker in the dark. It's even worse for the Sundanese people then. Sudanese are known to be very dark.

techie3328d ago

If it's infra-red then you don't become dark in the dark...that's how it sees you in low-light. That's the point of the infra-red in the first place.

green3328d ago (Edited 3328d ago )

I stand by my report because you can not make an article with such a headline like that just because ONE black man Ngai Kroll had a problem with Natal, while choosing to ignore Sugar ray,Leonard,Eric Di*kerson and Willie Grunt.So what happened to them? Did they magically turn white when standing in front of NAtal?

This reminds me off all those lame Resident evil 5 is racist articles.

techie3328d ago

OK :) But it is a rumour and not stated as fact, and in the article there is research posted explaining that darker skin IS harder to track with infra-red cameras, which Natal uses.

LeonSKennedy4Life3328d ago

Where the frick have you been?

LeonSKennedy4Life3328d ago (Edited 3328d ago )

Deep is just stating fact. Whether Natal has a big problem with it or not...infra-red lasers DO have a problem with darker skin.

EDIT: Me too, dude. I'm at 85 percent in the Warren District...and level 7 in the Beta. I freakin' love them both!

techie3328d ago

Playing inFamous and the U2 beta :)

Qui-Gon Jim3328d ago (Edited 3328d ago )

Dark skin evolved as a protection against sunburn from intense sunlight near the equator. The pigment absorbs UV rays before they can reach and burn the lower layers of skin. Maybe dark skin also changes the heat signature (infra-red emissions) of people enough to affect an IR camera.

techie3328d ago

That's exactly it Qui-Gon Jim :)

Mike134nl3328d ago

does this mean you are totally screwed if you are also wearing black clothes. lol

Why o why3328d ago

thats the most unN4g-like comment ever.

+1, it actually made me do some research.......i've never had to research anything due to comments here before

Christopher3328d ago

The same is true for many South American natives. My wife is from La Paz, Bolivia, the highest populated city in the world. You can easily tell who was born and has lived in La Paz from those who come from Santa Cruz and other areas lower in elevation due to pigment color. Would love to see how well it tracks someone like her.

phosphor1123328d ago

IR and reflectivity.

If you ever use Nightshot on a camera, that uses an IR diode to "illuminate" the scene, while the camera catches the reflection of the IR to then show you..on the screen things visible in the dark.

If you ever look at the Nightshot though, if you try to record your friend that is black, you will almost not see them. Only silhouette of them due to things AROUND them being bright. Though you will see their eyes real well.

I wish I could find an example, but no luck from Google Images.

Hope my rambling made sense, I was trying to make sure I didn't miss the Uncharted 2 Beta give-away =P

specialguest3328d ago (Edited 3328d ago )

This is interesting. Scroll down and notice how the black plastic bang suddenly disappears.


peeps3328d ago

yeh that is interestin specialguest. In the video the guys playing seem fine though, although if they wernt they would hardly use it when it's obv ms promotional material for natal. I did notice a few times he's turn his hands (the wheel) and the car would carry on in a straight like tho :/

LostDjinn3327d ago (Edited 3327d ago )

It's still going to be riddled with faults but if darker skin is a problem it can be fixed with software. It'll start to cause problems for the CPU and RAM if there's too much software involved just to make Natal function though.
What happens when you want to play a game and the interface is chewing up your resources.

Microsoft can pull this off if they have a great plan and a rock solid interface. The thing is, at this point M$ have an idea of where they'd like to go with this. That's not the same.

Good luck M$. I think you're going to need it.

rockleex3327d ago

Holy shizzle!

So if I'm wearing a black plastic bag instead of clothes(I would never) then they can see me naked with infrared cameras?! O_O

+ Show (14) more repliesLast reply 3327d ago
Sonyslave33328d ago

LOL MS just recently release a bunch of vids of celeberity playing Natal and their where like 4 black guys playing Natal lol i think Natal is struggleing to capture the movements of fat people aint N-Gai Croal over weight.

techie3328d ago

Maybe it's harder in low-light...wheras the promo-videos are in a very lit room.

STK0263328d ago

but...if it's having problem with fat people, wouldn't be even more problematic for MS, considering they are aiming their console at the average american gamer (of course, I'm not saying every US gamers are fat, however, studies tend to show that gamers are on average fatter, and Americans too)?

KR1ST0F3R3328d ago

maybe it should be called "project nazi"

Jamegohanssj53328d ago

ROFLMAO! That would make me buy a 360.