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

Friday, 24 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.

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30 Comments

  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

    @1

    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

    @2:
    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

    http://bit.ly/122Vu8i

    #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.

    Chill.

    #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

Comments are now closed on this article.

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    The Division fans finally got a look at Ubisoft’s MMO this week, but the publisher has said the footage is not in any way representative. Pre-alpha footage of the The Division was leaked this week, but has since been thoroughly smacked down by takedown notices. All that remains are a few screenshots and a GIF: […]

  • Microsoft HoloLens designer killed in hit and run accident

    Very sad news out of Redmond this week, as Mike Ey was killed in a tragic accident. Ey, 30, was one of the key project designers on Microsoft’s HoloLens AR headset. He was killed on Saturday morning in a rear-end collision. The driver of the second vehicle fled the scene but was tracked down by […]

  • AMD throws support behind VR with new low-latency anti-nausea tech

    GPU manufacturer AMD has released a new SDK compatible with “a broad set of VR devices”. Called LiquidVR, the tech is designed to “bring better content, comfort, and compatibility to VR applications” including games, simulation, entertainment, education, social media, travel, medicine, real estate and ecommerce, apparently. AMD said maintaining comfort and realism in VR environments […]

  • Danganronpa 3 in the works, but a long way off yet

    A new Danganronpa is happening. Danganronpa 3 is in the very, very early production stages, writer Kodaka Kazutaka has confirmed. Nothing about the project is “set in stone”, Kazutaka told Polygon, so there are no details to share yet; the characters and story may change several times before being finalised. The writer said he’s weighing […]

  • Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare MLG Pro League 2015 schedule announced

    Major League Gaming has announced the full schedule for the 2015 Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare MLG Pro League. The eSpots firm revealed two more seasons of Pro League, a live Relegation tournament for Season Three, and a season ending World Championship with $250,000 up for grabs You can watch all the action on MLG.tv […]

  • Happy Birthday PlayStation 2, you are almost old enough to drive

    Amidst all the GDC 2015 hoopla today, we forgot to wish PlayStation 2 a Happy Birthday. The system turned 15 years old today, going by its March 4, 2000 launch date in Japan. It was released in the west that autumn, and had shipped 100 million units in less than six years post launch. PS2 […]

  • Here’s what the final version of Valve’s Steam Controller looks like

    A look at the updated Steam Controller has surfaced via a hands-on post from Polygon. Valve said what you see in the images below is the final version of the controller. The controller has gone through numerous revisions since it was first revealed, but it seems Valve has decided on two touch pads which work […]

  • The Sims, SimCity developer closed down

    The Sims 4 developer Maxis has been shuttered, EA has confirmed. The Sims, SimCity and the rest of the Sim franchise has traditionally been helmed by Maxis, which had its flagship studio in Emeryville, California. Now EA has confirmed with Kotaku that this studio is being closed. “Today we are consolidating Maxis IP development to […]

  • Gigantic MOBA coming to Windows 10 and Xbox One with cross-play

    Today during GDC 2015, Microsoft announced that the new IP from Motiga called Gigantic will be cross-play enabled. Slated for Windows 10 and Xbox One, the five-on-five third-person battle arena game allows the player to select from an array of heroes with distinctive powers and play styles. Players will then make their way through areas […]

  • Here’s a look at Unreal Tournament DirectX 12 gameplay

    Epic Games is creating Unreal Tournament using Unreal Engine 4 running on DirectX 12, which Microsoft says “sets a new bar for visual fidelity.” DirectX 12 is a single API developers can access across Windows devices, which can result in a 20% improvement in performance over DX11 running on the same machine. The Unreal Tournament […]

  • Wireless adapter for Xbox One controllers out later this year

    Microsoft announced at GDC 2015 today it will that all wireless Xbox gaming accessories will be designed for and supported on both Xbox One consoles and Windows 10 PCs moving forward. Later this year, a wireless adapter will be released, allowing current Xbox controllers and future devices to be used wirelessly on PCs. This will […]

  • Microsoft offers up more details on Spencer’s GDC 2015 talk

    Microsoft has provided more details on Cross-Buy functionality between Windows 10 and Xbox One as well as the Xbox Live SKU and other announcements made during Phil Spencer’s talk today. During the session, the head of Xbox shared “the next step” in the company’s plans for a unified platform across all Windows 10 devices which […]

  • Wasteland 2 is coming to PlayStation 4 this summer

    Wasteland 2 is coming to PlayStation 4 as a Game of the Year Edition. inXile Entertainment announced the news on the PS Blog, noting the edition contains enhancements and improvements. The game has been ported to Unity 5, which was announced over the weekend, providing upgraded visual effects, “improved character models, upgraded environments, and Unity […]

  • Cross-Buy detailed for Windows 10 and Xbox One; Elite: Dangerous coming to Xbox One

    During Xbox boss Phil Spencer’s session at GDC 2015 today, it was announced Elite: Dangerous would release on Xbox One. Spencer also outlined cross-buy functionality across Windows 10 and Xbox One. Spencer’s talk started off with Frontier Developments announcing Elite: Dangerous for release this summer as a console debut on Xbox One, suggesting the Elite: […]

  • Longbeards Culture Pack available now for Total War: Attila

    The Longbeards Culture Pack is now available for Total War: Attila and it comes with three new playable factions. The Langobards, the Burgundians and the Alamans can be played in both single and multiplayer campaign modes as well as custom and multiplayer battles. A new feature called The Lay of Ybor is also included. It […]

  • Nvidia unveils Titan X as world’s “most advanced GPU” – video

    Nvidia revealed Titan X as “the world’s most advanced GPU” during Epic founder Tim Sweeney’s State of Unreal session a t GDC 2015 today. Nvidia CEO Jen-Hsun Huang took the stage during the panel stating it contains “8 billion transistors,” and has 12GB of RAM. Pricing wasn’t announced, but it was rumored back in January […]

  • Steam sale discounts titles announced for SteamOS

    With many of the year’s most popular games heading to SteamOS, Valve has decided to host sale in celebration. Here’s a short list of titles on sale. The full list of PC, Linux, Mac and SteamOS discounts can be found through the link. The Banner Saga Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor Batman: Arkham […]

  • PayDay 2 announced for SteamOS, celebrating with franchise sale

    PayDay 2 is coming to SteamOS, Overkill has announced. Still under development, a release date will be announced at a later date. “Making sure PAYDAY 2 is available on SteamOS felt like a no-brainer,” said Bo Andersson Klint, CEO of Starbreeze in the press release. “With PAYDAY 2: Crimewave Edition coming to the next generation […]

  • Magicka 2 has a release date and a crazy new trailer

    Magicka 2 has a release date for PC and the PlayStation 4, and Paradox Interactive has released a trailer featuring “Vlad’s latest lyrical triumph,” which is his rendition of the Game of Thrones theme. Magicka arrived on PC and PS4 May 26 and the game can be pre-ordered on PC beginning today, with PS4 pre-orders […]

  • Nintendo eShop schedule: Don’t Starve: Giant Edition, Never Alone, others

    Nintendo has sent over a list of titles heading to the eShop in 2015. The schedule contains titles such as Affordable Space Adventures, Runbow, Swords & Soldiers 2, Don’t Starve: Giant Edition, Never Alone and Mario vs. Donkey Kong: Tipping Stars. Below a preliminary list of games scheduled to launch in the Nintendo eShop on […]

  • Week 8: Can you win the weekly VG247 GTA Online playlist? Play tonight at 8pm UK time!

    We’re hotdogging tonight. I don’t even know what that means. Eight weeks of ridiculous death. Such a brave, true milestone. We’re going to celebrate two entire months of playing weekly GTA Online playlists with VG247 readers with Hotdogging, a set of six jobs I named completely at random. This one ends with a straight-up border […]

  • Puzzle platformer Four Sided Fantasy coming to PC, consoles in early 2016

    Curve Digital and developer Logan Fieth’s studio Ludo Land are bringing puzzle platformer, Four Sided Fantasy, to PC all major consoles in early 2016. Ludo Land are developing the PC version, with Curve Digital handling the console and Vita versions. Four Sided Fantasy tasks players with venturing across “dreamlike levels” by controlling and manipulating the […]

  • Tropico 5 arrives on PS4 in April – video

    A release date for Tropico 5 on PlayStation 4 has been announced. This is the franchise’s first foray onto PlayStation consoles. It arrived in Europe on April 24 and in North America on April 28. A Limited Edition has also been announced, and it includes The Big Cheese DLC and the Bayo Del Olfato sandbox […]

  • Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain Limited Edition PS4 releasing in Asia

    A limited edition Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain PlayStation 4 system will be released in Asia. The system and its DualShock controller were designed in collaboration with Konami Digital Entertainment and targeted for the Asia region, per Gematsu. It will be released as part of PS4 Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain […]

  • This video shows Sid Meier’s Starships being played on iPad

    Sid Meier’s Starships will be released on iPad alongside Mac and PC, and to give you an idea on how it plays on the tablet, a new video has been released. Watch below as Pete Murray and lead producer Stuart Zissu show off the iPad version. The 4X space-strategy releases on March 12.

  • Wolfenstein: The Old Blood announced as standalone prequel to Wolfenstein: The New Order

    Wolfenstein: The Old Blood, a standalone prequel to The New Order, will release May 5 on PC, PS4 and Xbox One. The game takes pace in 1946, and and players take on the role of B.J. Blazkowicz as he embarks on a two-part mission in Bavaria. Part one, Rudi Jäger and the Den of Wolves, […]

  • Observer Mode coming soon to Evolve as a free update

    Observer Mode will be released for Evolve as a free update for all platforms, 2K and Turtle Rock have announced. The community feature was designed to give Evolve players the ability to observe and add commentary as well as livestream, allowing a sixth user to “passively enter a custom game” with the ability to switch […]

  • Dragon Quest Heroes and PS4 top Media Create charts in Japan

    The PlayStation 3 and PS4 skus for Dragon Quest Heroes were the top sellers on the Media Create charts in Japan, moving a combined 594,749 units. Elsewhere on the chart, The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask 3D was in third place with 39,751 units moved, and last week’s top seller, God Eater 2: Rage Burst, […]

  • Watch Hideo Kojima answer lots of your burning Phantom Pain questions

    What’s better than learning the official release date of MGS5: The Phantom pain? Hideo Kojima talking more about it, of course! Hideo Kojima has decided to answer a few fan questions about Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain, to help boost everyone’s hype to insane levels. He talks about the game’s story, his relief […]

  • MGS5: The Phantom Pain Day 1 and Collector’s Edition revealed

    Konami has officially revealed the release date of Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain alongside the game’s Day 1 and Collector’s Edition. Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain will release September 1, worldwide, as previously leaked. It will be available on PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, and Xbox One. The PC Steam […]

  • EU Club Nintendo: Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds soundtrack back in stock

    Club Nintendo members in Europe can once again pick up The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds soundtrack. For 3000 Stars, members of the program will receive the double-CD soundtrack which features 89 tracks with liner notes from Ryo Nagamatsu and 12 sheet music excerpts. It also comes with 16 Milk Bar Musician pieces. […]

  • HTC apologises over “confusing” Half-Life VR comments

    HTC has misspoke when it talked about Half-Life coming to VR headset Vive. HTC chairwoman Cher Wang has apologised over the comments she made yesterday about the possibility of Half-Life coming to Vive, the VR headset it’s manufacturing with the help of Valve. Sources close to Valve, have indicated to the BBC that the developer […]

  • What do Heists and Daily Objectives tell us about the future of GTA Online?

    Daily Objectives could be more important to GTA Online than Heists. These theories and more, from a giddy Matt Martin. Yesterday Rockstar dropped a bombshell. Not only is it releasing Heists next week – the mythical 4-player missions for GTA Online – but it’s also going to be introducing daily challenges and more modes to […]

  • Breaking down Hardline Premium, is it worth it?

    Having been announced just a few days ago, the Premium service for Battlefield Hardline has been a topic of constant debate among the Battlefield community. Many look at Hardline as a Battlefield off-shoot that will just tide everyone over until Battlefront comes out in the fall. EA has other plans however, announcing a $50 Premium […]

  • Watch Dogs sold more than GTA 5 and FIFA 15 in Australia in 2014

    Watch Dogs outsold GTA 5, and FIFA 15, at retail in Australia last year. According to data obtained by the Interactive Games & Entertainment Association (IGEA) from the NPD Group Australia, last year’s year retail sales charts look a bit different in Australia. The top-selling game was Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare, followed by Watch […]

  • Watch PC footage of The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt from GDC 2015

    The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt has a new gameplay video available that shows a bit of action from the PC version. The video below was captured from Nvidia’s GDC conference live-stream. Developer CD Projekt RED was on hand to show off The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt‘s graphical prowess running on a PC. Thanks, GamesHQMedia.