A newly surfaced patent filing from Microsoft’s Xbox Incubation team details one of the new innovations they’ve been thinking about. This one could be very popular among major movie and television studios. But it probably wouldn’t generate much excitement among Xbox users.
The patent application, filed under the heading “Content Distribution Regulation by Viewing User,” proposes to use cameras and sensors like those in the Xbox 360 Kinect controller to monitor, count and in some cases identify the people in a room watching television, movies and other content. The filing refers to the technology as a “consumer detector.”
In one scenario, the system would then charge for the television show or movie based on the number of viewers in the room. Or, if the number of viewers exceeds the limits laid out by a particular content license, the system would halt playback unless additional viewing rights were purchased.