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Could MS Be Instituting Visual DRM With Kinect 2?

Posted on Friday, May 24 @ 08:05:00 PST by Alex_Osborn

The eye of Xbox One is ever watching...

At least that's what a new report might have you believe. Back in 2011, Microsoft filed a patent (via ExtremeTech) that, if used, could very well turn the Xbox One's motion camera into a lean mean DRM machine. But how would it work?

Well imagine you're watching a rented movie, and in the license agreement you're only allowed to watch it with a certain number of people. Kinect could theoretically determine the number of viewers and prevent the movie from playing if too many people are present. According to the patent, "The users consuming the content on a display device are monitored so that if the number of user-views licensed is exceeded, remedial action may be taken."

MCV is reporting that unnamed sources have confirmed that this is in fact part of Microsoft's plan and will be implemented in Xbox One's Kinect 2. Microsoft, however, was quick to offer a response, stating that the company "regularly applies for and receives patents as part of its business practice; not all patents applied for or received will be incorporated into a Microsoft product."

Of course, this also brings into question the whole idea of privacy. Is Kinect 2 really going to be that invasive? The Big M has emphasized that consumer privacy is very important to the company, telling Polygon:

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.

Are you worried by all of these negative Kinect 2 rumors? We'll have to wait and see what turns out to be reality when Microsoft decides to share more details and clear up all of this craziness. Let's hope the company has the consumer's best interest in mind.


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