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Face Tracking HP Webcams Can't Track Black Faces

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 45 comments

See video for full details.

Writing software and configuring it for different types of hardware is always a challenge. Sometimes one of the key challenging components is also considering the variety and diversity of the end user. For an example, see the video demonstration below of HP's new face tracking webcam:

HP Webcams Have Trouble Tracking Black Faces

An HP representative commented in the Voodoo Blog, "Some of you may have seen or heard of a YouTube video in which the facial-tracking software didn’t work for a customer. We thank Desi, and the people who have seen and commented on his video, for bringing this subject to our attention."

The response continued, "We are working with our partners to learn more. The technology we use is built on standard algorithms that measure the difference in intensity of contrast between the eyes and the upper cheek and nose. We believe that the camera might have difficulty 'seeing' contrast in conditions where there is insufficient foreground lighting."

Read more here.

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  • 38 Hide
    eyemaster , December 21, 2009 5:44 PM
    It's not racist, it's sexist. It's tracking the women, not the men... :) 
  • 11 Hide
    dingumf , December 21, 2009 7:37 PM
    Camera's that don't track black people. Does anybody else see the problem with that?
  • 10 Hide
    overclockingrocks , December 21, 2009 6:51 PM
    As soon as my blackness enters the frame

    LMFAO

    and I'm fairly dark skinned since my dad is jamaican but LMFAO so funny the way he phrases it
Other Comments
  • 3 Hide
    Pei-chen , December 21, 2009 5:43 PM
    Good for HP. Blackface is derogatory and racist towards people of color. I am glad HP's engineer design a software that can distinguish blackface and face with darker complication.
  • 38 Hide
    eyemaster , December 21, 2009 5:44 PM
    It's not racist, it's sexist. It's tracking the women, not the men... :) 
  • 0 Hide
    Shadow703793 , December 21, 2009 5:45 PM
    LOL EPIC!
  • 5 Hide
    Hanin33 , December 21, 2009 5:46 PM
    color/intensity contrast argument seems valid... who other than the programmers and those that know anything about this sort of software knows for sure?
  • 0 Hide
    Pei-chen , December 21, 2009 5:47 PM
    ^ I meant to say darker complexion.

    BTW, I know what this article is talking about. It is just more humorous if you think it as a feature.
  • 2 Hide
    theuerkorn , December 21, 2009 5:47 PM
    Seriously, this is a tough problem to solve with the lighting etc.. They have a point, but lets not forget about the terrible lighting.
  • 6 Hide
    Anonymous , December 21, 2009 5:56 PM
    OMG....

    Chris Rock and other comedians would have a field day what with the title of this article! :o 
  • 1 Hide
    Anonymous , December 21, 2009 6:04 PM
    HP has been watching too many episodes of "Better Off Ted". Funny when life imitates art.

    http://abc.go.com/shows/better-off-ted/episode-guide/racial-sensitivity/180210?page=1
  • -6 Hide
    aracheb , December 21, 2009 6:17 PM
    HEHEHEHE A RACIST SOFTWARE,
  • 8 Hide
    Anonymous , December 21, 2009 6:23 PM
    it's cause the camera sees nothing but eyes and teeth
  • 1 Hide
    SAL-e , December 21, 2009 6:27 PM
    Wow. I am surprised that HP engineers did not know that Infrared spectrum should be used to track human face or any other warm blooded animal. That is the main reason all security detectors are using infrared systems.
    Does anybody remember when Sony released video camera without IR filter and you can take 'naked' videos of women at the beach.
  • 1 Hide
    JonathanDeane , December 21, 2009 6:33 PM
    SAL-eDoes anybody remember when Sony released video camera without IR filter and you can take 'naked' videos of women at the beach.


    Oh yeah I remember that, and now the mods that you can do to camera's to allow that on some models lol

    On this topic its kinda funny, I am sure it was not done on purpose just kind of funny though. I do mean haha funny not like oh that smells kinda funny lol I also am 100% sure there will be some sort of software update to fix this :) 
  • 10 Hide
    overclockingrocks , December 21, 2009 6:51 PM
    As soon as my blackness enters the frame

    LMFAO

    and I'm fairly dark skinned since my dad is jamaican but LMFAO so funny the way he phrases it
  • -4 Hide
    Gotbeef , December 21, 2009 7:02 PM
    I'm smelling a lawsuit coming.
  • 3 Hide
    bison88 , December 21, 2009 7:02 PM
    Saw this over the weekend and it made my day. Its pretty funny truth be told. At least now we know most of HP's testers are white lol.
  • 6 Hide
    wickwick , December 21, 2009 7:24 PM
    Of course you should use IR to track people's faces. Unfortunately, most webcams on laptops don't ship with IR cameras. They've got to work with crappy-quality images under variable lighting conditions.
  • 1 Hide
    thearm , December 21, 2009 7:27 PM
    Racist web cams... I LOVE IT!
  • 1 Hide
    sliem , December 21, 2009 7:34 PM
    So funny!
  • 11 Hide
    dingumf , December 21, 2009 7:37 PM
    Camera's that don't track black people. Does anybody else see the problem with that?
  • -9 Hide
    gmcboot , December 21, 2009 8:27 PM
    dingumfCamera's that don't track black people. Does anybody else see the problem with that?


    No problem. It perfect. So when we sneak up on your stupid @ss we can hit you with the stupid moron stick and the camera will miss us. You get the dumb @ss smackdown and the camera only sees you. I think it is a feature.

    I wonder if I could smack Sarah Palin in front of one of these and get away with it.... She's a dumb @ss too.... hmmm.
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