Microsoft Has No Plans To Use Kinect In Xbox One To Target Ads

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There were reports in the past few weeks that Microsoft could use the next generation Kinect in Xbox One to target ads. For example, Kinect can guess your age, sex, etc, by body recognition, etc,. Albert Penello , MS Director of Product Planning at Xbox clearly denied these reports. He told that no one at Microsoft is working on such things and if something like that ever happened, you can be sure it wouldn’t happen without the user having control over it. He also revealed that Microsoft is working on some cool things that make use of Kinect console.

He also cited few examples of how Microsoft deals with privacy in Xbox One,

Two examples of how we deal with similar things today:

First, Kinect can recognize your face and log you in automatically. There could be some cool features we could enable if we stored that data in the cloud, like being able to be auto-recognized at a friend’s. I get asked for that feature a lot. But, for privacy reasons, your facial data doesn’t leave the console.

Second: You’ll see us do some things around Skype that freezes the video when Skype is not in focus (meaning, it’s not the primary app). If you go back to the home screen, or launch another app, we actually stop the video stream. We do this so the user can’t even ACCIDENTALLY have the video stream going on in the background.

Read his full reply below.

Well I think there’s two things you’re asking. NuAds by definition is simply interactive advertising done on the platform. 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.

Two examples of how we deal with similar things today:

First, Kinect can recognize your face and log you in automatically. There could be some cool features we could enable if we stored that data in the cloud, like being able to be auto-recognized at a friend’s. I get asked for that feature a lot. But, for privacy reasons, your facial data doesn’t leave the console.

Second: You’ll see us do some things around Skype that freezes the video when Skype is not in focus (meaning, it’s not the primary app). If you go back to the home screen, or launch another app, we actually stop the video stream. We do this so the user can’t even ACCIDENTALLY have the video stream going on in the background.

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.

Hope that helps.

Source: NeoGAF



About Author

Pradeep, a Computer Science & Engineering graduate.

  • Yuan Taizong

    Let’s be honest, if Scroogle made this, it would be its only function.
    Thank the Gods I’m on the Microsoft side, only ads necessary to sustain
    the services I’m using, and they’re good ads too.

  • KelvBlue

    All these nonsenses are really getting old. If Microsoft really want to dig out your data and shove the advertisements to your face like Google they would have done so already with Windows.

    • Emily the Strange

      and when they “do it” they are criticized and called alot of stupid things… even though you can turn it off, like the new search on 8.1 and the Bing apps, which can be uninstalled and never seen again and find and alternative.
      but yeah, using kinect for ads its the last thing i thought about…first spy and now ads? humans are funny and super sensitive and over paranoic.

    • Guest

      Meanwhile Google glasses can be as invasive and littered with ads as they want and hardly anyone cares.