You already knew your Kinect was watching you, but perhaps not like this. A U.S. Patent and Trademark Office filing by Microsoft reveals that the company is devising a means for your Xbox peripheral to count the number of people in the room and even identify who they are in order to assess licensing fees for content based on the number of people in the room.
In other words, the days of ordering the Mayweather fight and having 40 of your friends over to defray the cost may soon be a memory. The idea here is to create a system that can charge the user on a pay-per-view basis, but not in the same way you're used to. In this patent filing, Microsoft is talking about pay-per-viewer, or collecting fees based on the number of individuals consuming the content. Kinect figures out if it's just you in the room, or if you have a dozen friends huddled around, soaking up your precious content. It could even use facial recognition to determine the approximate ages of those people present and halt playback of mature material if there isn't an adult present.
Your Xbox could then automatically collect fees for the number of people watching, or it could refuse to play the content until you top up your Microsoft Points account with an adequate sum--or until you kick all your friends out.
Solution to hyper-intrusive corporations. Cardboard + tape OR if the kinect doesn't like having no image take a picture.
Picture + tape.
Then again it has a depth camera as well so the solution may have to be software to display a "screensaver" image to it.
Ultimately if any corporate entity wants to try this I think shelving/trashing their products and moving on to another brand is the ideal solution.
I am by no means a crusader against the invasion of privacy but something like this might make me paranoid enough to start wearing tin foil on my head.
Set a mannequin in a chair and point the kinect at it.
Talk about an invasion of privacy! Exactly why I don't like using Windows products... and they wonder why/how Google is so well embraced. Google focuses their energy on satisfying the end user... you know, the people who are ACTUALLY PAYING for the stuff. Microsoft focuses their efforts on getting as much money out of the end user as possible. Same reason I went with PS3 over XBox, why pay for network access if someone else has it for free?! Microsoft gets on my friggin nerves, I'm so frustrated at this!
So what, if I start a movie and halfway through my wife and kids join me the movie stops until I pay more?
My father in law who probably will only bounce in and out the room during a PPV fight has to pay me (or Microsoft)?
I want to rent a movie for the kids and I've got to pay for each one of them?
I swear I'll disband all Microsoft products if they push this. No Windows PC (Chromebook here on out). No Windows Phone (already got an Android). No Windows laptops or tables (Android all the way!). And no Microsoft gaming (I WAS going to buy an XBox in addition to the PS3, but I guess not).
If you feel this way about Microsoft, I sure hope you don't own any Apple products...
I DONT own any Apple products for that very reason. I know Google does its fair share of tracking information, they've got to make money somehow. But their focus on maintaining high experience value, freedom of choice, and low cost is what keeps me using their products.
This is exactly why whenever the kinect gets plugged in, I am offline. Period. Even still, it is only to use the voice features for Skyrim, and ME3 and bowling w/ the girlfriend... and... when using the sensor for voice there is *always* black cardboard blocking the video lenses unless we are bowling and it's needed.
1984 is now, and anyone who freely invites Mr Orwell into their home sadly will get that they deserve.
If it recognizes faces I wonder what would happen if everyone in the room was wearing the same mask... would it still count all the people or assume there was a mistake and only charge for one?
It seems stupid. Just unplug the Kinect when going online to order stuff. Problem solved.
If no other game consoles do this then it seems that it would hurt future sales of the xBox.
Mayhap it'll watch other things it can see and report that too. Smash it with a 4lb hammer.
Thank god for being old fashioned. I buy these things called discs still. No cloud, no internet, no problem.
Wow Micro$oft. New low. Are you going to charge my mother licensing fees if more than one person uses her computer next? Glad I have a MacBook.
WOW Microsoft, you found another way to be as greedy as possible, keep up the good work. I wonder if you'll bring this innovation to the Windows OS, maybe then you'll go out of business.
I want to maintain neutrality, but this definitely calls for some Microsoft-bashing. To everyone who suggested ways to trick the device, great idea! That way, Microsoft can't stalk us another more than it already does. As well, what if the Kinect becomes advanced enough to charge users more if there are certain images it can see in the room, e.g. apple logos on apple products, google logos, etc? Now THAT would be a serious problem. In my opinion, a good solution would be to place the Kinect sensor in a closed, black cupboard with enough space for wires to trail out.
I think the simplest answer would be to unplug the Kinect, the Xbox works without it plugged in just fine. Now if they come out with a system which requires the Kinect to be connected the entire time, I think they are going to have a difficult time selling it. I hope the patent does not go through on some grounds of violations of privacy. With the Kinect having that sort of untethered access to view your room and identify potentially 40 individual people, what other information is it collecting. Not trying to sound all conspiracy theorist but it is a concern I think we should be considering.
This is a really crappy idea, but it's not unusual corporate thinking.
When tape videos first came out, they showed one to the Disney folks that would play ONCE and then lock up.
Disney folks were irate because they wouldn't know how many people were watching!
lol if you live in a manekin factory !! ^^
(Type 0.72) = We are still just cleaver monkeys!
thats why you just dissconnect your kinect. and not everybody has this one-game-one-use camera..im not gonna get charged extra for having one person stop in my living room for five minutes to see what im watching.
one step further just have everybody but the person ordering leave the room untill the movie is playing then have them walk back in whats it gonna do stop the movie when it see other people enter the room and start charging for the amount of time they are in the room... Derp
oh well maybe it will jeez thats dumb i say down with kinect
You guys do realize this patent isn't going to pass because it is invasion of privacy? I've always supported Microsoft, I have an X-Box 360, a Windows Phone, a Windows Laptop and Windows Desktop PC. But this is a new low for Windows, I'm just shocked that they would do this. As for the people who are complainin though that X-Box Live's charge vs PS3 Networks free service, clamiming that Microsoft is greedy even for that, well that's just ignorance. Microsoft charges next to nothing to connect to their network and further more their content that you have the option to purchase is much cheaper than PS3's content. PS3 Network may be free, but they make up for it in overcharging for downloadable content. Also Microsoft created Microsoft Points which allow you to access some amazing free content. And further more there's an option where a person may download a game to their X-Box and send it to a friends X-Box. You can do it a I think a certain amount of times or like once a year, something along those lines. But hey it's a free game per year.
... Seems to me that a thermal blanket would be able to fool this system quite easily...
You people all complain too much! Think, You make a movie, and make people pay to watch it, one man buys one ticket, and bring five to people to sit in his seat. You cant complain when they want to make it so people cant be cheating the system. I would be all for this is this worked like, if me and my wife and kids watch this, we get a cheaper price on the fight.
Less Money On War more Money on Science
This is utterly stupid... the technology is not even close to there yet! I can't get the Kinect to register me when I am TRYING to get it's attention. So far it won't register me sitting or lying down, it won't register my 3 year old AT ALL and it shifts to my cat all the time! Besides not everyone owns a Kinect and I know people who don't have it connected much or it broke. Besides I can always hook up my laptop to watch netflix, amazon and pretty much any other service out there. It just won't work and will dissuade people from buying one. Sometimes companies will patent things just so others can't. In a few years you may need to worry about such things, but not right now, and I am pretty sure there will always be other options than the xbox for your videos... There is nothing here to worry about... just disconnect it or use another device.
Love my job, since I've been bringing in $82h… I sit at home, music playing while I work in front of my new iMac that I got now that I'm making it online…Mel7.CoM
So, who is filing the case against it; and more importantly, who is designing the website 'www.mic.blome2time2time.com'?
I bought this beacuse it was/is revolutionary tecnology.. but to charge people to wtach a fight or a movie per person it's a crime you dont go into block buster and pick a movie or buy a movie and have a clerk ask you so.. how many poeple are going to watch this movie. i pay 65 bucks a year to play aginst other people do i watch movies onces in a rear turkoies blue moon i even play naked while i use my kinect and many a time have i mooned the danm thing but this time i will moon it so big brother can have an eye full get it an eye do to the fact that they are freemason illuminaty hahahhaa iether that or pook its eye out with my wii wii aaaa i crack my self up get it crack hahaha
The patent will go through because Microsoft already has the backing of the US intelligence community. What better way to clandestinely "spy" on persons of interest with out a warrant. Microsoft has already made agreements with the government to allow intelligence agencies a "backdoor" into their systems and a direct video link into a persons home is a windfall for them. Kind of like the "secret" agreement the US government forced all Laser printer manufacturers into. Code gets printed on every sheet of paper printed on a laser printer.
If you have a Kinect, I guarantee the US Government already has the ability to see what you are doing!
You people are crying foul without considering the practicality of this technology.
First, Microsoft does not own the content that would charge on a per viewer basis and this technology is likely the only way the company that does would allow the content to be streamed through the XBox.
If you would prefer to pay $90/month for cable and then another $40-100 in pay-per-view fees to watch something like a price fight, fine. I, however, would rather pay per person without a contract.
This is just like the anti-used game technology that everyone is crying about. Game prices are high to cover costs, future game development, marketing, infrastructure (brick and mortar stores) profit, investors, and losses due to piracy. If there's a tech that prevents used games from being played or pirated games from being played and a cloud infrastructure exists to deliver content than game prices don't have to be so high to cover piracy losses, infrastructure, and extensive marketing at POS infrastructure.
I don't know anyone who trades games and most people I know who play games can't because you have to have the disc in order to play online. Games like COD and MW. SO if it makes my games cheaper I'm for it.
This per-viewer tech could allow cable companies to charge monthly fees on streamed content based on the amount and number of people who watch speceific shows on specific channels. Keep in mind that those cable companies have contracts with content providers to pay for their content. Those contracts would be affected greatly. Cable companies would pay for content they could sell and ideally, those content providers would be prevented from bundling channels that people don't watch with channels and shows people do.
This tech would also make Nielson boxes obsolete and maybe prevent good shows from being canceled by collecting data on the audience of onDemand and live streaming content.
This is going to come down to responsibility. Whether the rates are reasonable and the tech in secure.
unplug the Kinect or cover it
Bill Gates started a nasty campaign declaring war on his X Box customers 2 years ago. I have no desire to go online with my X Box or interact with anyone else. In my house I am in charge, but not according to Bill Gates. I bought and paid for my X Box like everyone else does. If I wish to take it apart and modify it with new circuit boards and chips to lauch 3-D Pornographic Holograms, it is my right to do so as it is my X Box. Well, not according to Bill Gates as he believes my X Box still belongs to him.
Bill has installed new cyber attack malware that must be downloaded before any newly purchased X Box Video Game will play. At the beginning of every new video game you now purchase; as soon as you place it in your X Box it says "Updates" must be downloaded before the game will play. When you download these "Updates", the malware goes through your hard drive destroying all information, downloads, chips and fuctions that you have purchased and installed on your X Box to improve its fuctions.
Bill is the next "Little Hitler" of Video Games and the X Box World. Now he doesnt just want to control what you do with your X Box, he wants to control how many people you do it with. Another Power Grab from a Billionaire that has everything already. Sad, really really sad. Privacy means to leave your customers alone Bill.
You're not a very smart person are you. Do you really think this will bring game prices down? Wrong, it won't. All this is, is a company(s) trying to control you and everything you do.
You do realise that Bill Gates is the front runner of world population control, right? This, Xbox bs is only the beginning. There is a much bigger issue at stake than game prices. Don't drink the kool-aid blindly. This is about control. 100% control. They want to control everything you think, say and do. That's why we have DRM for games now. Comanys want to control their product to the end. In their mind it's no longer "YOU" own it. It's now "YOU" lease it, and it's people like you who bought into this control, without thinking that think it's all about prices, piricy and whatever else their saying.
As for piricy, they'll never stop it, but they will use it to brainwash people like you into thinking that the rise in price is due to piricy.
Just wait, you'll learn the hard way of your mistake in thinking a company has "YOUR" best interests at heart. Of course when you learn it, it will be to late for you.
You're in for a very big let down my friend. A very big let down.