Why's It Gotta Be White? Because the Webcam Can't See Black - The UpStream

Why's It Gotta Be White? Because the Webcam Can't See Black

posted Saturday Dec 26, 2009 by Nicholas DiMeo

Why's It Gotta Be White? Because the Webcam Can't See Black

You would think by 2009, racism would be outdated, but apparently not. It was recently discovered that motion tacking webcams made by Hewlett-Packard may not be able to detect black people. All I have to say is...wow!

The video, currently on YouTube, shows two people, a white woman and a black man, taking turns in the in front of the camera. As the woman moves back and forth the camera tracks her every move, but the man does not receive the same result. They discovered this while just messing around with the computer at work and were surprised, to say the least.

According to CNN, HP sent an email stating, "the cameras may have issues with contrast recognition in certain lighting situations." Luckily, the two that stumbled upon this found the situation humorous. Desi Cryer, the black male, even said "I think my blackness is interfering with the computer's ability to follow me."

Although the video was not intended to be viewed by many people, HP caught wind of it and immediately released a video to cover their tracks.

Although they are blaming the problem on lighting, they are researching more into the situation to be sure. When tested by others, it was confirmed that it does not track dark skin in certain lighting, but will in the right amount of light. If you want a diverse webcam, I recommend investing in a different computer.


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