Xbox One: Kinect 2′s visual DRM functions found in patent file – report

Friday, 24th May 2013 11:11 GMT By Dave Cook

Xbox One will come bundled with Microsoft’s new Kinect sensor bar, and a new patent filed by the company suggests the device will impose certain DRM restrictions based on who it sees in the room, and more.


Microsoft has contacted MCV with comment, which reads, “Microsoft 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”.

Which is not a denial, so do keep an open mind on everything in this post for now.


ExtremeTech, as we told you yesterday, reports that the patent is for tech that sees Kinect monitoring how many people are in a room at once. If the number exceeds the amount allowed on a game or film’s license, then you the owner of the content, must pay for an extended license.

Below you’ll find an image from the patent, and while it’s an old one, MCV reports that sources have confirmed to the site that this will be implemented in Xbox One.

The bottom line is that the filing reads, “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.”

‘Remedial action’ could mean the purchase of a new, extended license, or worse. The problem is that we’re not yet sure.

If true, is this wrong? Should Microsoft be answering these questions now? Let us know below.



  1. TrickyAudio

    Cheers Xbox, thanks for the memories.

    #1 2 years ago
  2. Darth-Bader

    Wow. Those news just keep on coming, don’t they? MS and all its money-grabbing technology can piss off.

    #2 2 years ago
  3. orakaa

    Wow… it’s just absolutely UNBELIEVABLE.
    The worst rumors happen to become true… but the worst thing is how Microsoft tries to cover this up (see their reveal event where they absolutely didn’t speak about it until they were asked by game journalists… and even then they were not clear and misleading).

    This needs to be known by the broad public

    #3 2 years ago
  4. Samoan Spider

    This may just be something content creators can use but on an optional basis. I have my fingers crossed.

    #4 2 years ago
  5. Hirmetrium

    Surely this is irrelevant. What matters is private or public use, and the xbox cannot determine that.

    #5 2 years ago
  6. ps3fanboy

    OMG… micro$haft what have you done… the xbox one is done for sure now.

    #6 2 years ago
  7. Templar_Dante

    Welcome to the future MSFT style.
    Next thing, Kinect is going to charge you a $ everytime you go to the bathroom in your own home.
    “Xbox, can I please go to the bathroom?”

    Name and Initials :

    Address :

    Card Number :

    Security number :

    “Xbox, now can I go to the bathroom?”

    Xbox status detected : Silver Membership

    Please renew to Gold

    #7 2 years ago
  8. SameeR_Fisher

    well if they don’t include it now, they will include it next time.

    #8 2 years ago
  9. Logion

    I had no idea there was limits for the amount of people that are allowed to watch a movie or play a game.

    #9 2 years ago
  10. The_Red

    So Xbone’s camera is basically the Eye of Sauron?

    #10 2 years ago
  11. SplatteredHouse

    @10 Do they make foil-lined crisp packets large enough for this thing?

    #11 2 years ago
  12. Wen3

    WOW if this is the future we are done for.The best thing to do is just to burn Microsoft headquaters and assassinate every microsoft member they might be a bad influence on the industry ….I’m just saying people don’t accuse me when bad thing happen …..IT IS JUST AN IDEA FOR A SONY GAME!!!!

    #12 2 years ago
  13. pixeladdict

    Relax everyone, simply purchase and wear one of my patented Bill Gates masks and bingo… Kinect will unlock all content for your viewing/playing pleasure free of charge!

    Just $5 +shipping :)

    #13 2 years ago
  14. Fin

    This is how I thought it’d work – QR code on the disk or something.

    #14 2 years ago
  15. The_Red

    @11 Yeah. Of course they can always go for the HAL tech instead of LOTR magic:
    (Rocket Science inside!)

    #15 2 years ago
  16. laughing-gravy

    Oh my god! This is turning into a catastro-fuck.

    #16 2 years ago
  17. Beta

    Oh deary me. Pretty sure this isn’t how they wanted their launch to go. :’D

    #17 2 years ago
  18. CyberMarco

    #18 2 years ago
  19. TheBlackHole

    Turn the Kinect towards the wall, or put a fucking towel on it.

    Unless you plan on using your xbox to conduct an illegal showing of a movie to a cinema sized audience, you’ve probably not got anything to worry about.

    #19 2 years ago
  20. orakaa

    @19: are you working for Microsoft, or just trolling?

    #20 2 years ago
  21. TheBlackHole


    Posts irrelevant comment – accuses someone else of trolling.

    Bravo sir.

    #21 2 years ago
  22. orakaa

    @21: Oh you’re very welcome :D

    #22 2 years ago
  23. Beta

    If incorporated this would explain why Kinect needs to be connected in order for the console to work.

    #23 2 years ago
  24. orakaa

    @21: by the way, I was referring to you as “trolling” as you don’t seem to have actually read or watched the content of the patent: it clearly says that Kinect would be CHECKING the audience/number of viewers before authorizing the launch of the content.

    So turning Kinect into a wall or putting a towel on it would definitely be as useful as… not buying/having an Xbox One.

    I’m sincerely sorry that you seem to be quite touched by all these news against Microsoft as you might have been a dedicated 360 user. It’s okay. Many of us either are or were. Or were not. Personally I had a 360 until it died. I currently have a PS3, but if Sony does the same thing as Microsoft, I will harshly criticize them the same way I do here.
    All those measures only bring restrictions. It’s bad for us gamers. And the benefit we gain from it? Not worth it so far. Visual improvements are minimum and nowhere near the gap of last generation.

    #24 2 years ago
  25. TheBlackHole


    Eh? what on earth are you going on about.

    “So turning Kinect into a wall or putting a towel on it would definitely be as useful as… not buying/having an Xbox One.”

    Because Kinect is the only thing worth getting the Xbox for??


    #25 2 years ago
  26. Samoan Spider

    @25 I do see his point. In the process, Kinect comes before playing the content. So if you point it at the wall, it won’t see the content owner and won’t play!

    #26 2 years ago
  27. Beta

    Yes. If they used this tech, then obviously you wouldn’t be allowed to obstruct Kinect’s view. So turning it towards a wall or throwing a towel on it would not work.

    #27 2 years ago
  28. Templar_Dante

    @Samaon Spider

    Exactly. If they’ve thought so long and hard about it, They know how to detect if you are trying to dupe them.

    At this stage, its like they’ve incorporated Milo tech into this and its watching your move and reporting you to MSFT HQ.


    #28 2 years ago
  29. TheBlackHole

    @26 & 27

    So no playing games in the dark then :)

    I’m pretty certain this goes against about a billion privacy laws.

    #29 2 years ago
  30. orakaa

    @25: okay so now you are just trolling.
    I was replying to your comment (@19) when YOU said “Turn the Kinect towards the wall, or put a fucking towel on it”.

    If you had read the article and the patent description and also read the other declarations from Microsoft saying that Kinect WILL have to be connected and functioning in order for the console to launch, then you would understand that it HAS to check/monitor the room and the user (and that putting a towel on it would prevent the console from working).

    I am doing nothing illegal in my house, but that doesn’t mean I want to have a monitoring device reporting god knows what to god knows who. Even if I don’t do anything illegal, it doesn’t mean I would be okay to have a cop sitting in my living room.
    Can you understand that?

    #30 2 years ago
  31. Beta

    @29 I don’t know much about Kinect 2 but isn’t it equipped with infrared? Darkness wouldn’t be a problem then would it? :) Correct me if I’m wrong of course.

    #31 2 years ago
  32. SplatteredHouse

    @29 didn’t you know it also sees in the dark conditions using “active IR”? (starts at 1:44)

    #32 2 years ago
  33. laughing-gravy

    If it can see in the dark do you think it will be able to watch Xbox one owners giving themselves a four knuckle shuffle at bed time?

    #33 2 years ago
  34. ps3fanboy

    Watch out guys its the Eye of Sauron…

    #34 2 years ago
  35. Samoan Spider

    @34 Didn’t you get the memo, Sony are shipping one with the PS4 so you may not get the upgrade to PS4fanboy that you’ve been hoping for :)

    #35 2 years ago
  36. Phoenixblight


    Its not required to be plugged in to play the system unlike Kinect is.

    #36 2 years ago
  37. Samoan Spider

    @36 Yeah, what worries me is that Sony haven’t quite been as forthright about what and what not to expect. MS have (for good or ill) been getting the shit news out of the way. I am renowned for missing the obvious interview link that prove me wrong, but on a lot of things, Sony haven’t gone on record. But this hasn’t been confirmed either so who knows.
    I think (whilst I dislike most of the news) that it’s clever. A shit news sandwich so to speak. Hey here’s a new console (presentation), it’s got loads of shit you don’t want or need (post presentation), but look at the games (E3)!

    #37 2 years ago
  38. OlderGamer

    Guess the WiiU is looking a bit better these days. As far as consoles go.

    #38 2 years ago
  39. Phoenixblight


    The GameInformer said nothing of the sort of the Eye needing to be hooked up or even being used in any of the games releasing, let alone mentioned at all. There is nothing to suggest that it is integral to use the system unlike the Kinect which has to be connected to the system in order to play and is always on.

    #39 2 years ago
  40. Samoan Spider

    @39 I understood that it made no mention of it. When a console is launched, cost is a HUGE consideration, so if it isn’t integral, and no games are planned, why include it at all? Why not launch it later with a game that utilises it? I think there’s more to see here and I’m willing to wait and find out. Aren’t you at least curious why it isn’t being talked up?

    #40 2 years ago
  41. Phoenixblight


    There is no need. Sony spoke about the Eye being used for interface stuff similar to kinect. And the only thing suggesting the Eye comes with the system is a rumor that came before the reveal so where was it confirmed the camera would come with it? I haven’t seen as such. For all we know that will be the high dollar bundle.

    #41 2 years ago
  42. OlderGamer

    I think, PB, the larger point would be at this juncture it might be best to wait for all of the info to roll in via E3 then to judge much of anything right now.

    I agree with some folks, Sony has been rather vague with some of their info regaurding PS4.

    Needless to say E3 will be huge for everyone. If for nothing else but to put an end to the misinformation floating about.

    #42 2 years ago
  43. orakaa

    @40: “Why not launch it later with a game that utilises it?”
    Because if ALL consoles are bundled with a peripheral, then all games can be developed with it in mind.

    Historically whenever a console have released a peripheral AFTER its launch, it has never been broadly adopted by game creators, and for a reason: only a FRACTION of the console users would have that peripheral.
    Powerglove, MegaCD, RAM extension for N64, WiiFit, Wii Motion Plus, Move, Kinect, etc.

    #43 2 years ago
  44. Phoenixblight


    There is nothing to suggest that the Eye is coming with the Ps4, it was only mentioned briefly at the reveal then never heard of again. If it was needed in order to play, someone somewhere would have said as such after the reveal but they haven’t.

    You are right though E3 will be a time for Sony and MS to release more information about their system but so far MS have been doing a fantastic job selling the Ps4 for me.

    #44 2 years ago
  45. BazzaLFC

    If I remember correctly, Sony have said the PS4 comes with the Eye, as it works with the light bar on the controller. (tracking it like the PS Move)

    #45 2 years ago
  46. OlderGamer

    “but so far MS have been doing a fantastic job selling the Ps4 for me.”

    100% agree. Also makes me enjoy the WiiU just a bit more.

    I also agree with BazzLFC, I recall reading that too, because the DS4 controler needs/uses it.

    #46 2 years ago
  47. Phoenixblight

    @45 and 46

    Have a link to support that? THey did say its used for finding which controller is whose but nothing that it comes with the system.

    “The light-bar doesn’t require the camera to function. It’s just a different way of identifying the player.”

    #47 2 years ago
  48. OlderGamer

    Nope I don’t, and I don’t have time to search for one. I was just checking in for spam/news. Gotta run soon.

    Could easily have been a “leak” article that ran on one of the sites. With so much misinfo out there….like we said, best to wait right now. E3 is coming.

    #48 2 years ago
  49. Samoan Spider


    #49 2 years ago
  50. Phoenixblight


    Read the article nothing says that the EYe comes with the system.

    #50 2 years ago
  51. Samoan Spider

    @50 Apart from the first line I suppose there’s not much else because Sony are being vague.

    #51 2 years ago
  52. BazzaLFC

    @50 did you not read the first line of the article?

    The new edition of the home PlayStation console WILL come with a new edition of the PlayStation Eye camera that has so far not been widely used by consumers, due at least in part to lack of effort spent integrating its functions into games beyond the Move controller.

    taken from the article linked by Samoan Spider

    #52 2 years ago
  53. Phoenixblight

    @51 and 52

    Show me where it was stated by SOny that it will come with the system. Please because a single line in a article doesn’t confirm this, that even the source doesn’t even suggest as such nor do any other article I have read.

    #53 2 years ago

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