Who Needs An ‘Eye In The Sky’ When There’s The Xbox One?

Xbox One


Earlier today IGN reported on an Xbox One patent filing Extremetech dug up some time ago. The patent, in short, says that the Kinect sensor will act as a sort of ‘visual DRM‘ to ensure users aren’t breaching their license agreements with various entertainment providers.

For example, say Lionsgate only wants to license four people to watch The Hunger Games for a $3.99 rental fee. According to the patent Kinect would keep a watchful eye on your viewing party and disconnect the stream if more than the agreed upon amount of spectators were present. Another searing example would be the NFL‘s copyrights in place that regulate the size of television you can view the Superbowl on. Suppose good ol’ Kinect can gather specific information about your ‘connected devices’, an easier method would involve remembering information that was input during system setup. We already know the Xbox One will ‘remember’ things about you, so why not for this purpose? I know, for instance, my PS3 double checked my display size during initial setup to output images correctly. What if your television is 62″ and your having people over to watch the Superbowl with Xbox One’s nifty Live TV function? It’s possible that the Kinect could act as the National Football League’s ward and disrupt your service due to copyright infringement.

This is kind of ‘can of worms’ situation that I wouldn’t want to touch with a ninety foot pole. After Polygon inquired on the patent, Microsoft gave this response,

The new Kinect is listening for a specific cue, like ‘Xbox on’. We know our customers want and expect strong privacy protections to be built into our products, devices and services, and for companies to be responsible stewards of their data. Microsoft has more than 10 years of experience making privacy a top priority. Kinect for Xbox 360 was designed and built with strong privacy protections in place and the new Kinect will continue this commitment.”

For now this is just another unattractive ‘possibility’ that the Xbox One may employ. The list of features and/or practices that gamers have exhibited resentment towards continues to grow. The stigma associated with Xbox One is reaching a boiling point after the confusion created in reference to Microsoft’s stance on the ‘always on’ and ‘used game’ topics. Which was further obfuscated with incorrect and incomplete responses to media inquiries.


What do you think about this unsettling patent? Will MS go through with it under pressure from the various entities that will be providing the Xbox One the lion’s share of it’s ‘entertainment’ features it’s touting? Let us know in the comments below.


Follow Meh

Dylan Zellmer

Dylan splits time between games journalism, designing video games, and playing them. Outside of his deep involvement in the games industry, he enjoys It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Shameless, A Song of Ice and Fire, fitness, and family.
Follow Meh

  • Pingback: Feature – Industry Impact Xbox One Reveal Discussion - iGame Responsibly()

  • Yes!1984

    They’ll never go through with it. People aren’t going to buy it if they think kinect is watching them all the time.

  • OmegaMartian

    Even if this is just a patent they filed for and never end up using, it still pisses me off. I think that’s how a lot of people are feeling about the new xbox at this point.

    • happygilmoore

      This is what happens when a company doesn’t have any respect for their consumers. Crappy used game stance, weak specs, and patents that would invade our privacy to satisfy entertainment providers.

  • Pingback: What Do Microsoft And Skype Have In Common? Why Prism Of Course()