People have been having a lot of fun with Microsoft’s age-guessing website since it popped up this week. It’s not always accurate and it’s easy to troll (see below), but one day the tech behind it could be the bane of tweens all over the world.
The technology that powers the viral How Old Do I Look? app proves that they’re well on their way to developing a system that can block underage users from playing games — and watching movies, listening to music , or even browsing websites — that’s been rated beyond their years.
— *direlog emoji* (@direlog) April 30, 2015
Windows already has some pretty terrific built-in features that parents can use to limit what their kids have access to. Family Safety lets parents do things like enforce time restrictions, block access to specified websites, and prevent app and game downloads. Roll in Microsoft’s cloud-powered age-guessing system, fire up the webcam, and you’ve got the makings of an automated content watchdog that can’t be circumvented by doing something as simple as figuring out a parent’s password. Got an Xbox One with a Kinect attached? The same system could work on it, too.
Obviously they’ll have to build in some anti-spoofing functionality, but they’ve already demonstrated that with Windows 10’s new biometric authentication system, Hello. It does a great job of distinguishing real faces from photos and videos; it’s extremely hard to fool.
Microsoft has already shown that they’re willing to take the lead when it comes to DRM and 4K video. If they’re keen on helping Hollywood prevent unauthorized use of its content, why not help ensure ratings guidelines are being adhered to? Advocates of stricter content rating systems would absolutely love to see this kind of thing be mandated.