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.