Microsoft filed Kinect patent that governs your movie use

Tuesday, 6th November 2012 12:56 GMT By Dave Cook

Microsoft filed a Kinect patent back in April 2011 that would give the company free reign to monitor your movie-watching behaviour and shut down your viewing should an unauthorised person enter the room. Get more information from bizarro-world below.

Eurogamer reports that the patent – titled “Content Distribution Regulation by Viewing User” – was filed as a bid to ensure only licensed viewers could watch films bought on what appears to be Xbox Live marketplace. The patent was published online November 1st 2012.

The tech would have functioned on what the patent calls “pay per-user-view” basis, meaning that movie downloads would be tethered to an individual, or groups of viewers authorised by appearance, as monitored – but not exclusive to – Kinect.

The patent explains, “Content is distributed to consuming devices, such as televisions, set-top boxes and digital displays, with an associated license option on the number of individual consumers or viewers allowed to consume the content.”

“The limitation may comprise a number of user views, a number of user views over time, a number of simultaneous user views, views tied to user identities, views limited to user age or any variation or combination thereof, all tied to the number of actual content consumers allowed to view the content.”

“Consumers are presented with a content selection and a choice of licenses allowing consumption of the content. 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.”

By “remedial action”, the descriptor refers to unauthorised viewers being asked if they want to purchase a license to watch the content before it continues. If they refuse, the content is then shut down.

Kinect isn’t referred to explicitly in the document, but two notes in the document are of interest – “Capture Device 620″ and a gaming console referred to as “612″ – suggesting they are the Kinect device and Xbox 360 respectively, 720 at a long shot.

The patent continues, “Environment 612, with capture device 620, may be used to recognise, analyse, and/or track human (and other types of) targets.”

“For example, a user within the display area of the display 616 [the television] may be tracked using the capture device 620 such that the gestures and/or movements of the user may be captured to determine the number of people present, whether users are viewing content and/or may be interpreted as controls that may be used to affect the application being executed by computing environment 612.”

The line that follows suggests restrictions for unauthorised viewers, and reads, “such information may also be used to determine whether the tracked user is viewing content presented by a content provider.”

What do you make of this procedure? Is it too heavy-handed? Let us know below.



  1. SlayerGT

    Its called unplug the Kinect. I hope its possible to on the nextbox. I idea that you can’t play a movie or game without proper face recognition is silly.

    #1 2 years ago
  2. roadkill

    Sounds about right! Keep feeding Microsoft money you bots! LOL!!

    #2 2 years ago
  3. jeffb01

    my guess is that the next xbox will have the kinect built in so you won’t be able to unplug it…

    #3 2 years ago
  4. NiceFellow

    @3 or certain functions won’t work without it. I doubt MS would implement something like this and allow you to subvert it that easily.

    Personally though if they take this route I’ll drop the platform. I’m already pretty disenchanted with digital vs physical goods due to the ridiculous restrictions and lack of standards and won’t support anything of this level that’s for sure.

    #4 2 years ago
  5. Khan979

    I’ll play the xbot here. Microsft rocks they should have the right to determine how many people can view the content by watching you in your house and monitoring who views it…Playstation sucks….

    But really, What the hell is up with Microsoft first they make u pay to play on-line….then they try to make the xbox more of a hyped up netflix viewer, now they want to monitor who is viewing the content….what’s next, charging you extra if a buddy comes over to co-op a game with you if he/she hasn’t purchased the game or paid a fee for viewing the content of said game?

    “Oh, we see you have two people in the room, I’m sorry this game only belongs to the registered user of this x-box, if you would like your friend to be able to play as well please purchase this the additional rights to view this content for 400 MS points….thank you.

    Break out the vaseline, we’ll need it if Microsoft implements this….

    #5 2 years ago
  6. laughing-gravy

    I don’t like the way Microsoft is going with this and Win8. It all seems very orwellian to me. Surely if I buy something then it belongs to me and I can do what I like with it. Next gen from Microsoft seems to be them telling you what you cant do, which is ironic considering they have always marketed their products with the tag “do more”. Hmmm….

    #6 2 years ago
  7. DarkElfa

    Now I am done with Microsoft where consoles are concerned.

    #7 2 years ago
  8. freedoms_stain

    I’d have loved a system that could automatically shut off a film if “unauthorised persons” entered the room when I was a lad. For… reasons.

    #8 2 years ago
  9. Cobra951

    @1, even simpler: It’s called “play your movies on something else”. Get them in less restrictive forms too.

    #9 2 years ago
  10. NocturnalB

    Orwellian is right! Wow I’ve always been an Xbox gamer but this crap more than takes the cake. It wasn’t bad enough the way they’ve been trying to head with windows 8 and digital sales over physical sales trying to take away my right to own the property i pay for. But spying on me and governing how many people watch a damned movie? Fuck that and a bag of chips man.

    I’m glad I’ve never purchased a Kinect, even more reason to never even be near one much less buy one. What the Hell is with Microsoft and their affinity for invasion of privacy and policing?

    #10 2 years ago

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