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Xbox One: Penello addresses concerns over Kinect advertising capture

Friday, 4th October 2013 11:53 GMT By Dave Cook

Microsoft came under fire earlier this year after word spread that the company would use the Xbox One’s new Kinect sensor to track expressions and the audience for advertising purposes. Albert Penello has now taken to the internet to address those fears and debunk the strategy.

Posting on NeoGAF, the planning and marketing director replied to a query regarding Xbox 360′s NuAds scheme and discussed fears that the tech would be used in an intrusive manner using Kinect.

“NuAds by definition is simply interactive advertising done on the platform,” Penello explained. “Using the functions of the console and Kinect to interact vs. just watching a spot. There’s nothing particularly interesting happening here unless you’re in the advertising business, and we’ve done a few on Xbox 360 today.

“What I think you’re asking about is an interview done earlier in the year where someone was talking about how some of the new Xbox One Kinect features *could* be used in advertising – since we can see expressions, engagement, etc. and how that might be used to target advertising. This is the point that seems to draw some controversy.

“First – nobody is working on that. We have a lot more interesting and pressing things to dedicate time towards. It was an interview done speculatively, and I’m not aware of any active work in this space. Second – if something like that ever happened, you can be sure it wouldn’t happen without the user having control over it. Period.”

Penello added that while Kinect’s facial recognition is used to identify players and log them in automatically, the specific face data does not leave your Xbox One console. He concluded, “I’ll say this – we take a lot of heat around stuff we’ve done and I can roll with it. Some of it is deserved. But preventing Kinect from being used inappropriately is something the team takes very seriously.”

What do you make of Kinect’s facial recognition tech and how it *might* be used? Let us know below.

Via OXM.

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15 Comments

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  1. Djoenz

    Ha I have nothing to say.

    #1 7 months ago
  2. monkeygourmet

    Should read as:

    “Nobody is working on the thing we are working on…”

    Also:

    “First – Nobody is working on it.”

    and….

    “It was an interview done speculatively, and I’m not aware of any active work in this space.”

    Nobody is working on it, or you are not aware? Which is it?

    The fact the 360 dashboard is plastered with Ads kind of shows a huge interest in advertising and the Xbox brand.

    #2 7 months ago
  3. VibraniumSpork

    Meh…s’kinda cool with me either way. I know this thing’s a hot topic but I do feel that worrying about the internet boogie men capturing your ‘lifestyle’ data is akin to worrying that your soul will be stolen if someone takes your photograph.

    Go ahead, check my reaction to that new Miley Cyrus video. See how I salivate over the latest KFC meal deal. Knock yourself out bro!

    #3 7 months ago
  4. monkeygourmet

    @3

    I would love it if you booted up your day 1 Xbone and there was an Ad for Miley Cyrus and KFC on your homepage…

    You’d be a like… “Whaaaaaaaa?!”

    :)

    #4 7 months ago
  5. VibraniumSpork

    More like this, probably :D

    #5 7 months ago
  6. monkeygourmet

    @5

    :D

    #6 7 months ago
  7. traumadisaster

    So I should trust your good intentions and moral standerd of utilizing kinnect appropriately? No thanks I dont trust that data will stay local, conflict of interest with ad dollars.

    #7 7 months ago
  8. AmiralPatate

    It’s not like privacy doesn’t exist on the Internet anyway.

    #8 7 months ago
  9. lookingglass

    I really just don’t understand this paranoid mentality.

    Smartphones will eventually do the same thing with front facing cameras. And you know what? Everybody hates commercials and ads, but if they are tailored to you they’ll all be more relevant.

    I for one hope to never get make up ads, tampon commercials, or gold buying ads ever again.

    And if you’re jerking off in front of your Kinect and someone at Microsoft leaks it, congratulations because you’re a millionaire. Sue the fkn hell out of them.

    #9 7 months ago
  10. Pitts

    This is likely the main objection I have with Kinect atm. There is no trust between myself and MS. And to be fair, there are a LOT of companies I would never trust with a device like that in my home.

    #10 7 months ago
  11. DreadSabot

    @3 you are so right bunch of hysterical idiots, paranoid as all can be.

    #11 7 months ago
  12. lacerz

    Believe what you want to believe, but when you read Microsoft’s patent application on the matter (Google this: 20120143693) it clearly states:

    The monitored activities of the users are processed by a computer system to assign emotional states to the users. The emotional states are stored in an emotional state database along with identifiers for the users. An advertisement database stores the advertisements and targeting information, including desired emotional states, provided by the advertisers. The advertisement engine receives a request for an advertisement from a client device. The request includes the identifier of a user that is interacting with the client device. The advertisement engine searches the emotional state database to identify the assigned emotional state of the user. In turn, the advertisement database is searched to select advertisements that are available for the user consistent with the targeting information associated with the advertisements. In turn, the advertisement engine transmits, to the user, the selected advertisement with best monetization value.

    The indicators of user emotions are captured by the client devices. The indicators of user emotion include, but are not limited to, browser behavior, webpage content, search queries, email, instant messages, videos from webcams, gestures from a computing device, e.g., Microsoft Kinect, and results from online games.

    #12 7 months ago
  13. Djoenz

    Enjoy tha NuAds partners!

    #13 7 months ago
  14. MrWaffles

    Find my comments from the Kinect announcement a while ago, said exactly this.

    I love being right.

    #14 7 months ago
  15. sebastien rivas

    Regardless of the mode or method used and that is true for all manufacturers or any sort in or around the game industry.

    Advertising is the UGLIEST form for reaching to viewers and I don’t think I am alone in this situation.
    We, the viewers dealt with this atrocious waste of time and space on TV.
    Do not ever think you can pull that on consoles without hurting your brand image and that is regardless the form or method used to shove viewers’ down the throat with ads.
    e.g: I like American football but boyyy, those ads just make me run away from my TV every single time. I can’t enjoy a game nor do I ever finish it.
    and the conclusion is: I don’t even know what ads and brands were played anyway. It is like my brain refuses to swallow this shit

    #15 7 months ago