Microsoft files body scan patent to guess players' ages

Keeps kids out of age-restricted games

Kinect could guess age based on proportions

A patent filed by Microsoft proposes to use Kinect's body-detecting technology to guess the ages of people using the Xbox 360 peripheral.

The system uses a 3D depth camera to measure the proportions of the user's head, shoulders, arms and body to work out their age range, and then controls access to television shows, movies and games.

Unlike Microsoft's existing facial recognition system, the body-detection will work on any user, even those who don't have accounts set up on the console.

Proportional representation

The system can be overridden, a feature that will benefit adults with unusual body proportions who want to use the console without being restricted to kids' games.

It will also react dynamically, potentially switching off your copy of Basic Instinct if a child enters the room.

It might sound super clever on paper, but the body detection system could land Microsoft in a heap of trouble if it's found to discriminate against any subset of Xbox 360 users.

There's also no word on whether or not two children on each other's shoulders wearing a giant coat will be able to outfox it.

Via Geekwire