After all the negative news coming out from the Xbox One and the new Kinect, such as it always needing to be attached for the Xbox One to function, you’d think they’d do something right finally, but nope, Microsoft are up to doing crazy things again regarding the Kinect.
Microsoft have now filed a Kinect related patent that will have a camera-based system monitoring the room for the number of warm bodies, if this number if over a certain threshold then the device owner will be prompted to buy a licence to cover a greater number of viewers.
It doesn’t get any simpler than that either, the abstract states that “The users consuming the content on a display device are monitored so that if the number of user-views licensed is exceeded, remedial action may be taken.”
The patent’s various claims means that Microsoft can give the device “a limited number of performances in a given period of time, a limited number of users allowed to view such performances, and the continuous monitoring of viewers during those performances.” it then goes on to covering the determination for “when performance of the content to an identified user exceeds a threshold.”
The patent suggests that copyright holders are allowed to govern what is shown in private dwellings such as your home, describing how it could be applied to head-mounted devices, large screens, gaming and media products, computers and even mobile phones if they so desired.
Hopefully this sort of thing doesn’t get patented as it sounds pretty ridiculous to me, if you’ve bought a movie and want to watch it with friends and family, why should the Kinect be able to stop you from doing that? At the end of the day it boils down to the Kinect trying to prevent people from doing “public screenings” of movies that they have bought.