Microsoft’s Kinect patent suggest they will be always be watching

Friday, 24th May 2013 02:22 GMT By Naren Hooson

A patent filed by Microsoft for Kinect describes a camera system that monitors the number of viewers in a room. Content providers will be able to set a threshold which if exceeded would trigger a prompt for the device owner to purchase a license for more viewers.

According to Extreme Tech, via Evil Avatar, it’s that straight forward. The abstract states, “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.”

The patent is said to allow a device to limit the number of performances in a certain time period, limit the number of viewers to performances and to continually monitor viewers, also covering, “when performance of the content to an identified user exceeds a threshold.”

It also describes that the patent could be applied to head-mounted devices, large screens, gaming and media products, computers, and even mobile phones. Therefor suggesting that content providers, or copyright owner, can govern the performances in private settings.



  1. heyvc

    Now I will have LIMITED NUMBER of PEOPLE to WATCH STUFF ?! F*CK YOU MICROSOFT… that’s Way too much. If I put something in front of Kinect SO it can’t watch me 24/7, My box Won’t Work ?!

    #1 2 years ago
  2. KAP


    The truth is anything negetive concerning Xbox One won’t deter diehard MS fanboys.
    Huge amount of brainwashing going on right about now..

    Don’t believe me? Watch the latest episode of Rev3games “address the sess” on YT..

    #2 2 years ago
  3. 786Beast

    Despite being a diehard Sony fan, got to disagree with you there. The recent Gamespot survey showed 88% of voters were opting for the PS4 – surprising to be honest.

    Re Article: MS are really just taking this too far now. I am seriously concerned atm as Sony may end up with no competition next gen, which is a real negative for the consumer due to potential monopolisation (ie higher prices).

    Edit: BTW VG247 – this is my first post, really enjoy reading the articles on here, they actually make sense! Keep up the good work!

    #3 2 years ago
  4. pandulce1

    What! It’s unbelievable the level that greed has attained in our society.

    #4 2 years ago
  5. yeoung

    Now I really hope the Xbox One selfdestructs and takes this glimpse of dystopia with it. Imagine having to set up a screen with video of yourself watching a movie in front of your kinect just so you can watch a flick with your mates.

    Scary stuff. Here’s to hoping a great amount of MS consumers switch over to PS4, PC, Steambox or Wii U.

    Better yet, a global push for TIVR

    #5 2 years ago
  6. sithsylar

    @4 Of course its greed haha what do you think the american dream is haha ;-)

    #6 2 years ago
  7. Cobra951

    @3: Sadly, MS will still garner a large following in the US next gen. So don’t be afraid that Sony will be unmotivated by lack of competition. However, worldwide, I think Sony is poised to reclaim the throne. It’s theirs to lose. They have an arsenal of ammunition to use against MS. If they opt not to use it, or if they implement their own anti-consumer tech and policies, then it’s anyone’s game again. If the PS4 is poised as the consumer- and retailer-friendly games system, it can gain a lot of traction. Let’s wait and see.

    #7 2 years ago
  8. CaptPierce

    The backlash this is getting is INSANE! If they keep this up, this console will be dead before they even start shipping it out during the holidays. These games they plan to show off at E3 better be something that revolutionizes human entertainment as a whole, otherwise this is just going to be one very shiny DVR doorstop around Christmas time.

    #8 2 years ago
  9. BrahManDude

    why are they doing this again? doesn’t make sense

    #9 2 years ago
  10. Richenbaum

    I’m not trying to defend this kind of practice, but I have to wonder if any of the people on the internet that are acting so shocked about a company wanting to monitor them even realize just how many companies are already monitoring them right now through the internet. For example, most people out there are still using email providers that can freely look through all their emails (how do you think they keep having ad popups that are related to the exact same things you’re frequently getting emails about?), but a sensor that gives feedback on whether you play games alone or with friends? OMG BIG BROTHER IS HERE! Kinda silly…

    #10 2 years ago
  11. MegaGeek1

    No way. Don’t believe it. Tech companies patent the shit out of everything, it doesn’t mean they will ever use it. It just means that if something at ridiculous as this ever becomes socially acceptable, everyone will be paying MS for the idea.

    Kinect always being on is definitely troublesome though. I habitually game in my undies whilst eating cheezewiz from the jar.

    #11 2 years ago
  12. GwynbleiddiuM

    Meanwhile in a secret Microsoft Employee gathering: “We are the Watchers on the wall.”

    Seriously though I’m sure they wont be reporting your every move to the government, unless we are going to have a conspiracy theory argument in which we’re coming to this conclusion that in order for NWO to achieve “One World Government” they have to monitor us in our living rooms.

    #12 2 years ago
  13. 786Beast

    @10: I think it is the following part people are more concerned with:

    “Content providers will be able to set a threshold which if exceeded would trigger a prompt for the device owner to purchase a license for more viewers.”

    So ultimately ‘a sensor that gives feedback on whether you play games alone or [pay to play games] with friends.”

    #13 2 years ago
  14. Richenbaum

    @13 wtffffffff. I should have read more carefully past the headline (shame on me I know…). ok that IS insane. I mean honestly it doesn’t effect me one bit as I’m completely antisocial and don’t really talk to anyone except my wife, but still, that is nuts. I would like to believe that this is intended more for things like huge public functions with hundreds of people than “oops you have over 7 people at your party please insert more monies”, but I can sure believe that some companies would misuse something like that.

    #14 2 years ago
  15. aprotosis

    You know, when I first saw this story show up on Facebook yesterday I thought to myself, “I bet the news sites also recycle this story from last November just to pile on the hate…” so glad I wasn’t disappointed.

    Point is, old story. Sony patented a similar move last year too, though they use their 3D tech to have limited people watch the screen at a time. Point is, companies do this all the time. They patent methods of doing things that involve their products because if they don’t, others will. There is nothing stopping you from thinking of a creative use for a PS3 or 360 that is patentable and then patent it. Doesn’t matter that you don’t intellectually own the property in question; just the unique method for doing something. This would then prevent MS or Sony from employing that solution (If they felt the need) without paying you first. Protective patents are extremely common.

    To be sure, if for some odd reason they do actually employ this, it would be illegal not to notify you ahead of time. If that time comes to pass, go ahead and rage. But right now it just sounds like paranoid barking.

    #15 2 years ago
  16. Ballisticon

    #16 2 years ago
  17. Puggy

    Well, I doubt it will activate, if you are renting a movie and watch it with your family or two – three friends. This kind of patent rather sounds like a device to keep people from “renting” music/movies, than inviting the whole town over to their big screening room, take some bucks from everyone and show it on their big beamer.

    At least I hope they won’t start to pop up windows, whenever someonw walks past the field of view of that device.

    Not defending it of course, just trying to give a point of view.

    #17 2 years ago
  18. Sublimeone

    I am going to let you guys in on something, MS has been to the future.
    Basically, its all Going as Planned. Watch by this time next year, they declare huge marginal profits from the cash inflow from Xbox one.

    #18 2 years ago
  19. redwood

    well the hits just keep coming..but AFAI thik this is just a patent, doesn’t mean that they will actually use it. large companies do thisalot, they make tech that never get used, but in order to protect their investment they have to get it patented.
    here is hoping that they don’t ..

    #19 2 years ago
  20. f1r3storm

    Funny how everyone now brings up these old news from November.

    #20 2 years ago
  21. xAKUM3TSUx

    Didn’t Sony make a similar patent a while back? Well anyway I’ll drop Xbox One if they follow through with this…but, like some have said above me, it doesn’t actually mean they will use it. I’m using E3 as the final decision maker for both consoles but I’m edging a little towards PS4. We’ll see I guess.

    #21 2 years ago
  22. Malmer

    Old story.

    Patents are not same thing as actual plans.


    #22 2 years ago
  23. polygem

    welcome 786 beast. yes it is a great page…most of the time :)

    it holds on: ms pushes all the wrong, sony all the right buttons atm…i still think the x1 will sell good in many countries, but the ps 4 will as well. it will split the user demographic more this time though. i really think that if you are a dedicated gamer and games are what you care about the most, ps4 looks like the way to go. even if ms will show great games at e3, i think they have lost me already…but damn that controller looks just right.

    #23 2 years ago
  24. Eregol

    @8 You wont be able to use the Xbox One as a DVR. The video signal is going to be HDMI in, HDMI is encrypted, as such you wont be able to record it on an external box.
    The One’s overlay will be placed over the UI of the external TV provider that you use (Virgin, BT, Sky etc). You’ll still need to watch recorded TV through your regular box.

    #24 2 years ago
  25. mkotechno

    Xbox One984

    #25 2 years ago
  26. Armitage Shanks

    Licences licences,fill in these forms,proof of purchase,jump through these hoops.

    #26 2 years ago
  27. kolab

    What the hell????

    Does this mean that future male Xbox One owners should be advised against:
    - scratching their nuts?
    - speaking out loud in a defamatory manner against government policy?
    - enjoying a puff of green?

    If Big Brother is watching me, then I will not have a Kinect in my house.

    #27 2 years ago
  28. Tavarish

    If this goes through like this I think EU’s lawbranches has something to say about this…

    #28 2 years ago
  29. brotherhoodofthewolf

    Remember kids, Kinect is watching you masturbate.

    #29 2 years ago
  30. laimis911

    Kinect was made for that not for games , it was developed to watch you ! Microsoft made it look like that Kinect is for games when it came for Xbox360, but the real truth is coming and it’s creepy ..

    #30 2 years ago

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