Xbox team’s ‘consumer detector’ would dis-Kinect freeloading TV viewers – GeekWire

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.

via Xbox team’s ‘consumer detector’ would dis-Kinect freeloading TV viewers – GeekWire.


6 thoughts on “Xbox team’s ‘consumer detector’ would dis-Kinect freeloading TV viewers – GeekWire

  1. Sure I can use the Kinect to access and control my Xbox, but it should not be used to control me. This continuing problem on access to movies and proper rights is getting out of hand. To charge people on a per view basis is out right crazy and will not work. Everyday there is a new service that provides access to movies, Microsoft just announced one just last week! Watching movies shouldn’t break the bank and should be as painless as possible. I for one am excited about the Kinect and how it can IMPROVE use of the Xbox, not the other way around. This is probably a patent because I’m sure this technology could be implemented, but not as a viable business venture.

  2. Although users feel that the primary focus of the Xbox development should be on giving them more control and power over their media machine, Microsoft acknowledges that not all of its customers are its users. If Microsoft is to create and foster its arrangements with other media companies it must show its commitment to the regulations of the industry. Although users may not find this feature helpful or necessary, it could be a selling point for media content producers. The specific technology in question has many potential functions, including but not limited to those that protect copy right. I would be curious if this system was implemented would it just serve as a copy right protector or if it could have relevant functionality even everyday users can enjoy.

  3. This is seriously creepy to me. So Microsoft wants to watch people through the cameras in their kinect? I’ve heard rumors that Microsoft can watch people through the connect but I never really believed them. My initial questions are how are they getting into the cameras, can they turn the camera on if its off, when are they watching, and do we know if/when their watching? This seems like a huge invasion of privacy to me. I see the kinect sales dropping with this new feature added.

  4. This sounds like a highly unethical use of there products to me. It’s not only invasive to me but anyone who is present in my living room. If they do decide to use this technology to spy on users I would not purchase the product. It’s bad enough they track every movement we make on the internet and sell that information off this would be just unacceptable to have a camera spying on me and my guests.

  5. I think that xbox would be very unsuccessful in pulling this off. To charge users for how many people are in the room is ridiculousness and would probably make some people not want to purchase a kinetic in fear of “being watched”. I could see them running into a lot of problems with this. What if people were walking through the room? Or what if someone was out of the kinect’s view? They would still be able to watch whatever was playing without an additional fee. I just think that something like this could be easily bypassed by the user.

    1. I too agree with the statement above, there is no possible way to regulate this in the sense that this would force every person who owns an xbox to purchase a kinect. This would be detrimental to their user base and if you weren’t actually required to use the Kinect to watch a film or video, then you could easily just unplug the Kinect and continue to watch it without them ever knowing how many people were actually viewing. The strange thing is that this would ever even be considered a legitimate idea. The only real place you can control this is within a real business, transforming someones living room into a “Movie Theatre” based transaction is likely going to do more harm to their sales than anything else. I am almost 100% sure that this idea is not going to happen and if for some reason it does, Xbox/Microsoft will no longer be anywhere close to a top tier in the video streaming industry.

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