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Microsoft Patent Will Use Kinect or Webcam to Monitor You, Charge Extra for Extra People Viewing

A new patent has surfaced that will allow Microsoft to physically monitor you and your friends using a Xbox 360 Kinect or webcam. This is the "consumer detector" and it's insanely disturbing.

Geekwire.com spotted this new patent a couple days ago. Once the technology outlined in this patent goes live, our fundamental living room experience will forever be changed. Microsoft wants to control (and allow their partners to control) the way we consume content. 

Here are the key elements of the Patent:

  • MS will use a Kinect, webcam, etc. to physically monitor anyone in the room
  • This system will detect the age of the viewers and adjust the content (disallow mature content for kids, etc.)
  • The viewers will be counted and you will be forced to purchase extra licenses if too many people are consuming the content
  • If someone else enters the room the content may stop until you pay extra or until someone leaves the room
  • The system will limit the number of times an individual will be allowed to watch specific content in a certain amount of time

There are many other uses for this technology, all of them disturbing. The system could monitor you for attentiveness during certain segments and then deliver this information to advertisers. 

I'm sure some of you are thinking, "I'll just disconnect or cover my webcam/ Kinect." Nope. They will simply withhold content until you "scan in". I'm also sure there are some of you that think this will never actually happen. Let's just step back and look at the way things are going in the world. This is just the type of DRM that "they" want. It will give them the ability to charge per person and they will be able to advertise selectively based upon the individuals consuming the content.

I am see a future where this is integrated into the television sets, consoles, etc. I know I am going a little crazy with all this, but if MS, Hollywood, the NFL, and big media had their way this is exactly how will be in the near future. 

The obvious solution is to stop consuming content with draconian DRM schemes like this. I know that isn't going to happen for all of us, so be prepared for extreme invasion of privacy and the most disturbing form of DRM ever. Don't forget to thank Microsoft for the patent.

Let me know what you think about all this. Also, feel free to let me know if there is anything that I have missed. 

posted 1 year 5 months ago

 Rather it was Microsoft than Apple...

posted 1 year 5 months ago

 soo true

posted 1 year 5 months ago

 I'd rather it be Apple, because I don't use any of their shit. I don't play Xbox anymore either, so hopefully I'll be safe. But if this goes to PC as well (I don't know how that would work), then hopefully Steam will have all their games on Linux by that point.

posted 1 year 5 months ago

 Don't worry, the computer, unlike xbox, is under YOUR control. Meaning that whatever nasty anal stuff microsoft intends on forcing upon you, you can just hack away.

posted 1 year 5 months ago

This is the kind of fanboyism nonsense that needs to stop immediately. When any company abuses its power and commits these atrocious acts it is a sad state of affairs.  This whole dualism of choice in the world is such a driving force to label who we are that the so called individuality of the human experince becomes null and the (shades of) grey area where the logical lives is killed by the black and white of blind hatred or absolute loyalty.

posted 1 year 5 months ago

 Hell yeah well said, so many fanboy elitists, I still occasionally come across fanboys arguing about PS3 vs. Xbox, that shit makes me laugh so hard. But its worse in the world of computing, and has bled into the world of smartphones and even the phone carries themselves. People just want to justify every single cent they ever spent by promoting the things they have bought, and degrading things that others have bought. Its so ridiculous and waaaay out of hand. 

posted 1 year 5 months ago

 haha yea

posted 1 year 5 months ago

 Incoming lawsuits regarding the webcam labeling short people as children.

posted 1 year 5 months ago

 roflmao

posted 1 year 5 months ago

This is why use should never use such a demeaning product from such a company like Microsoft... and to the fellow above... I believe that you should worry that your pathetic little Apple company will soon do the same on many of their products!

posted 1 year 5 months ago

 The Kinect is a gimmick anyway, I'd prefer actually going and doing something than pretending to do it in my living room. I'm sure there will be ways to trick it into seeing an old picture of the room with just you, when in fact you have 20 people watching your movie.

posted 1 year 5 months ago

 This is absolutely insane. Shouldn't it invade on our privacy and count as spionage?

posted 1 year 5 months ago

 /me facedeskHow THE FUCK IS THIS EVEN FUCKING LEGAL, seriously? HOW!?!?!? oh what ever I don't even own an Xbox or kenect or even a webcam so I geuss this doesn't affect me.

posted 1 year 5 months ago

They don't respect your freedoms

 

posted 1 year 5 months ago

 1984 wasn't supposed to be an instruction manual.

posted 1 year 5 months ago

I loled at this... then I cried. 

posted 1 year 5 months ago

Best comment ever

posted 1 year 5 months ago

Don´t be so harsh on them *giggles*. I bet that it´s all totally legal. It´ll probably work like this. Before you start using Kinect you will have, as always, to sign some VERY LONG T.O.S. agreement. Only then you will be able to use it and by that time you´ve already agreed to them spying on you. So what does that teach us? Always read the T.O.S. . Don´t like it, don´t sign it, don´t play it. Then however, you´d have to stop playing many, MANY games, I guess.

The only problem they might face are charges against discrimination or something when the software recognizes a midget as a child although it might be an adult, 18+ / 21+.

 

posted 1 year 5 months ago

Probably can cheat it by just looping a 10-30 min video of you just sitting there alone, or for kids, a 10-30 min video of an older parent sitting there alone to unlock adult files. Sad really how all this circumventation could be needed.  Windows 8 integration? Don't buy a monitor with an integrated webcam...

posted 1 year 5 months ago

 And yet people still buy, use and advocate a system made by such an evil company.

You were warned, you didn't listen.

posted 1 year 5 months ago

 this is disgusting, i think this will break down any consumer to company trust anyone will have. you have to ask yourself not only how did it come to this but how we are going to advance from this idea. we should live in a world were we can take a idea and branch to the public not limit it.

posted 1 year 5 months ago

 Wow...I was hoping 1984 would never happen.

 

There is an extremely optimistic view that Microsoft has the patent only so other companies couldn't do some of the nefarious things like Logan listed, but that's probably too optimistic and I don't believe Microsoft is above not using the patent in those ways.

 

Good thing I'm switching to PC gaming this year.

posted 1 year 5 months ago

 Glad Steam is going to linux cus they will try this on PC aswell I feel.

posted 1 year 5 months ago

 what the hell microsoft? you used to be cool, man.

posted 1 year 5 months ago

 I'm sorry, but if M$ continues to do this, I will never buy another product from them again, ever. I guess that makes Windows 7 my last purchase.

posted 1 year 5 months ago

 O.O  And I thought Apple was bad...  Ehh... I would just torrent DRM-free versions of Micro$oft's things if need be.

posted 1 year 5 months ago

The fact that Microshaft patented this is really really stupid on their part (let alone planning to use it), they are basically closing this method of DRM (disgusting as it is) off to themselves only meaning that other platforms can say "Hey! We're not evil! Come play on us!". 

I laugh in the face of whoever came up with this idea and the idea of patenting it, and then I cry for their unfortunate families as not only is their relative an idiot but a person who will most likely loose a job if this goes in to plan (if this gets implemented microshaft sales, use and stocks will go down without a doubt).

Ahh well, at least i'm a PC gamer and steam is coming to linux so this shouldn't affect me, even if it does come to windows there will be some mod and way around it.

posted 1 year 5 months ago

 Even if this gets implemented, I doubt it would last very long. People will simply stop using their products and shift to another supplier... This might have worked if companies still had unique content, but they barely do anymore. Unless of course all the big ones jump on the band wagon.

Luckily enough of us like minded people are out there, so alternatives will surface very quickly.

Edit: Oh and it will give piracy a massive boost and validation.

posted 1 year 5 months ago

The only things that come to mind are ways to trick the system...bwah ahahahahaha

posted 1 year 5 months ago

Client side DRM like this will never work. It will be hacked and the content providers will lose even more money.

As far as tracking viewers, nothing new here. We never had privacy to lose.

posted 1 year 5 months ago

 On the PC side of things... With the way it is written... They can see you through your webcam without you activating the software.. I hope MS is ready for legions and legions of feeds of people fapping to porn in their spare time.... SMH....

posted 1 year 5 months ago

You made my day, sir. So true.

 

posted 1 year 5 months ago

Media PC and PC games for life.

posted 1 year 5 months ago

Agreed....

 

posted 1 year 5 months ago

 As usual I hear lots of great ideas from the folks here about getting around this but why in the hell do we have to do so in the first place. This is scary shit when you consider just how many people out there have no idea what is inside that magical box that connects them to the internet. Do you remember that ridiculous add where they turn her home into a store to shop for a new PC because she was so out of date with a 4 year old tower? It finishes with her holding a laptop and saying “I’m a PC and I’m finally up to date.” These are the kinds of people that will be out buying this crap for Christmas with blinders on about just who they are letting into their home. The Patriot Act is a great example of “trust us, you need this.” I see them using this scare tactic about content for your children being the excuse for this next.  

posted 1 year 5 months ago

 they patented it so no one else can use it for harm ? :D

posted 1 year 5 months ago

Like I said, overly optimistic

posted 1 year 5 months ago

1. Suspend a photo of one person in front of camera

2. Call all your friends, and charge them 5$ each for a movie

3. Fuck you microsoft

Sony might be an uptight bitch when it comes to piracy, but as long as they don't spy on me, I'm sticking with them.

posted 1 year 5 months ago

If this turns into a real thing, I feel more sorry for whoever's job it is to watch people play xbox than the people being watched play xbox...

posted 1 year 5 months ago

 I just shit bricks. This will certainly encourage more illegal downloading.

posted 1 year 5 months ago

I get the feeling that sales for microsoft will plumit if they start implomenting this.

posted 1 year 5 months ago

Pretty much sums up how I feel about this

posted 1 year 5 months ago

I thought Apple was Evil but this is downright scandalous!! I wouldn't waist my money on a peice of shit Xbox anyway and they can take their kinect and forcibly ram it up Bill Gates ass!!

posted 1 year 5 months ago

 Does this include other devices like phones and computers which use the windows OS? or does this only concern the Xbox?

posted 1 year 5 months ago

 This is pretty scary, that would be a huge violation of privacy. I really hope things don't come to this. Ordered a copy of 1984 just now to keep an eye out on things to watch for.....

 

posted 1 year 5 months ago

 And then they act suprised that people download their movies, DRM free, off the internet?

"See, it's all piracies' fault!!!1! Moar DRM!!!11!!"

As long as downloading something illegaly is way easier and less restrictive/annoying than the legal alternative, it will never stop. No amount of silly DRM measures will ever stop it, as it will be cracked and on the internet within 24 hours, negating the entire purpose of the DRM and giving just another reason to get it from torrents/newsgroups etc, thus doing the exact opposite of what the DRM is supposed to be doing. I just cannot understand why those people who come up with this stuff don't see that [Jackie Chan image with his hands on his head].

posted 1 year 5 months ago

 streaming site are even better, I watch movies b4 they're in theatres

posted 1 year 5 months ago

 I think that when Web Camera's begin to get integrated with Televisions, and this technology is beggining to be used, I will tape over the camera inside of the televisions.Then, Only when I need it (i assume they'll be doing this with PC usage too) Only when It is required I use a webcam, I.e. when Talking to family and friends on skype, streaming etc, will I plug in a web cam. I'm not comfortable with being watched, when I know that I didn't agree to being on web cam. Its a kinda scary idea that I could just be sat at my computer one day after having just woke up sat in next to no clothing and I could being watched.Or alternate idea for Taping over the lens of a camera, Do what they did in (I can't remember which film, Mission impossible or something else) Where they take a picture of what ever the camera is looking at, print it out, then use a mount to hold said picture in place so they just think that the television was left one. Could work??

 

posted 1 year 5 months ago

"I'm sure some of you are thinking, "I'll just disconnect or cover my webcam/ Kinect." Nope. They will simply withhold content until you "scan in"."

Sorry, they already thought of that.

posted 1 year 5 months ago

 How would they monitor me with my Kinect if I don't own a Kinect though? Would they force me to get one and not allow me certain content until I buy one? Sorry not paying $100 for something i'm not even going to use.