A patent filed by Microsoft indicates that Kinect could count the number of viewers watching (or playing) content and allow the content supplier to charge a fee per person.
Website ExtremeTech discovered the patent which contains the following text:
“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.”
This is further clarified in the detailed description;
“ At 412, a license validation is performed by comparing the user count and any view or performance limitation against that allowed by the license. If the license is satisfied, the content presentation begins at 420. If not, then at 414, the user is presented with an option to adjust the license terms. If the license is updated at 416, then the content presentation begins at 420. If not, the presentation is halted at 418.”
Of course just because there is a patent for the tech it does not mean it will ever be used, but now the ‘always on’ Kinect and the massive focus on TV, sports and movies Microsoft aimed at during the XBox One reveal, it does appear rather ominous.