Microsoft’s Kinect and what it could spell for the future of technology.

Recently I’ve been reading articles about the Kinect. It seems everyone who has played it has loved it and that’s fine; I personally don’t have an Xbox 360 nor the extra $150 for the Kinect but I understand how fun it could be. I then read an article stating how it costs somewhere around $56 to make and they are selling them for $150. That too is also okay. Everyone needs to make a profit and I understand. If they know that’s the max people will pay for it…hey, go for it.

One article in particular, however, concerns me. It’s about the possibilities of the Kinect and it’s seemingly intrusive advertising capabilities, specifically in capturing personal information. Dennis Durkin, CFO of Microsoft’s gaming division, recently said in a presentation at an investors conference that the Kinect is able to “cater which content we present to you based on who you are.” Durkin supposedly gave and example which was if people were watching a sporting event, the camera could see what jerseys they were wearing and deduce what team they support. Then advertisers would be able to specifically tailor to them.

To me, this example seems too intrusive. Some compared it to the same logic behind Facebook advertising, and to some extent it is, the difference being that with Facebook you voluntarily add information. If the example Durkin gave comes to fruition, then the Kinect would be taking information.

Now before you get all bent out of shape remember there would obviously be a Terms of Service to agree to or checkbox you would need to tick/untick in order for it to gather this information (at least I hope so), but what about the rest of the family and friends who come over who didn’t sign the ToS. It’s just the principle of the matter. This is potentially some scary technology for personal privacy in the future. Think about it, if this goes through without a hitch and there is no resistance to this tactic, then this could snowball and every company would want to jump on the bandwagon and eventually this type of tactic could be implemented in every piece of technology everywhere in the world. People are scared of Google already, I imagine Google executives are frothing at the mouth for this type of information.

I know this sounds a bit like a conspiracy theory, but I take my privacy very seriously and Microsoft has stated that they are serious about my privacy and the privacy of others as well. They also reiterate that they “do not use any information captured by Kinect for advertising targeting purposes,” at least for now. This is all good and swell but I still just see it as a stepping stone away from total lack of personal privacy. Good for advertisers and investors, bad for the privacy of the general populous.

Let me know what you guys think in the comments.

16 thoughts on “Microsoft’s Kinect and what it could spell for the future of technology.”

  1. At the very least it’d be hilarious to see what kind of horrible miscalculations or mistakes it would make, kind of like when Amazon makes bizarre suggestions based on your previous purchases.
    I wonder what kind of ads it would give you if you wore a Snuggie…

  2. User in a Snuggie:
    Analysis 1
    User has become fuzzy from head to toe. Suggested sales: Razors, wax, local laser hair removal servies.

    Analysis 2
    Amorpheous blob of clothing resembles a moo-moo. Indications are user has become overweight. Suggest sales: Wholesale diet products, nutritional books, local diet and nutrition stors.

    Analysis 3
    Large amorpheous, sluglike blob in front of camera. **THREAT LEVEL OMEGA** Notify home office: Ballmer was right, the Giant Slug Apocolypse has begun.

  3. Local, I don’t think its intrusive because if people are playing videogames and not wearing video game related items, they could put up an ad for TSG’s excellent line of merchandise!!!:P

    But in all seriousness I think that it is a good idea, but they need to perfect it to the point where it can be a little more controlled by the consumer.

  4. The Kinect is such a creeper lol

    This reminds me of this one gadget discussed in the forums. It was about this giant Advertisement scroll board. Dont know what its exactly called, but it would analyze your appearance and display advertisements that fitted well for you.

    However, this thing with the Kinect is interesting, but I still stand by my word its a tad creepy. 😛

  5. I can only imagine the riot that would ensue of they were to start capturing information through the kinect for advertisement. I never see Microsoft doing this, it seems like a bad move all around.

  6. I honestly don’t care if anyone is watching me, as long as nobody sends me creepy messages over LIVE like “take off your shirt.”
    Also, I can’t get enough of Dance Central. Really fun, especially with friends. Really makes you sweat on hard difficulty.

  7. It’s a $500 million campaign. That’s right they spent that much. This isn’t the first time Microsoft spent this much money to match Nintendo. Don’t forget they bought Rare. Solid State Drives, Mind Reading technology(mental thought controls the game) is the future. In the Game Industry you can parrot or innovate. Both have flaws and advantages.

  8. Microsoft, the first generation Sky-Net. >> Honestly, it thinks for itself to decide what to send you? How close to the robot apocalypse are we really?

    In all honesty though, I think it would be a good idea, however if it were to actually happen, to many companies would take advantage of it, and though it would be a tactical advantage in Microsoft’s corner, as soon as other companies realize they could be doing so much more by building camera’s in their TV’s or computer monitors that were in the screen or whatever, it would only be a few more steps until we’re all fearing the television or games, so we could keep what little privacy we had left to ourselves and loved ones.

  9. “People are scared of Google already, I imagine Google executives are frothing at the mouth for this type of information.”

    Google already does this(it just doesn’t watch you through your webcam(yet))

    I mean, this kind of targeted advertising has existed for years.

Leave a Reply