HP Handles Webcam Racism Claim Very Well [VIDEO]

Posted Dec 22, 2009

Below is a viral video of a black male and a white female demonstrating how the facial recognition feature on HP’s webcams has a glitch. Apparently the webcam fails at recognizing the face of Desi (black male), but it works on Wanda (white female).

Rather than flipping out in response to the video, Hewlett Packard issued a politically correct statement pointing out what is wrong technically with the webcam.

Below is a full response from HP Community Manager Tony “Frosty” Welch:
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.

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. While we work on this, take a look here for more information on the impact of lighting on facial tracking software, and how to optimize your webcam experience: http://bit.ly/7HsZHD

And below is the video: