Kinect To Estimate Human Age and Automate Parental Control?

“Sorry, kid, but you’ve got the arms of a 12-year-old, and you’re not watching the Spice Channel tonight.

That’s the idea floated by Microsoft in a patent filing made public this week, proposing to use a 3D depth camera (such as the one in its Kinect sensor for Xbox 360) to digitally measure the proportions of a person’s body and estimate age based on the data, such as head width to shoulder width, and torso length to overall height.

The system could then automatically restrict access to television shows, movies and video games accordingly, using ratings for each type of content.

It might sound like science fiction, but it’s actually not a huge stretch, given the detailed skeletal tracking that Kinect already uses to let people control games.

As described in the patent application, the approach would give parents a new advantage over their tech-savvy kids, many of whom can easily circumvent existing parental controls.

But more than that, the technology could work dynamically — detecting when a kid enters the room, for example, and switching to more appropriate content.”

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