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Xbox Patent: Use Kinect To Spy On Users?

Posted by: , 12:59 AEDT, Mon November 5, 2012

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Microsoft to use Kinect camera as a way to implement a new DRM controlling how many people get to watch something at the same time?
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A new patent application from Microsoft has revealed that the company is thinking about using Kinect to spy on users for everything from age verification, to even being a form of DRM.

The filing has the heading "Content Distribution Regulation by Viewing User", but it is simplified to simply "consumer detector" within the filing documents. The abstract describes the patent application as being for "A content presentation system and method allowing content providers to regulate the presentation of content on a per-user-view basis".

"Per-user-view" seems to suggest a new kind of digital video rental, where you pay based on how many people will be viewing the content. The Kinect camera, according to the patent application, can then be used to detect how many people are actually watching, and prevent playback, or charge additionally, depending on how many people the camera is detecting.

Last year, Microsoft filed a patent that appears to use Kinect for age detection, and when combined with this latest application, could see the Kinect prevent playback of content if it detects the user is under-age.

The application also talks about a "head mounted display device", which seems to tally with earlier leaked documents citing a similar accessory for the next generation Xbox console.


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