Patent Suggest Kinect Could Charge Per Person When Playing A Movie

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;

“[0042] 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.

Source: Extremetech



  1. Really can’t get much worse for MS’ PR!

  2. Someone get MS a longer ladder!!!! That hole they digging is getting deeper by the day

    • Should we just pour in concrete while they’re down there?

  3. Wouldn’t they almost *have* to do this? DVDs etc warn about public showings of a certain number of people, I’m guessing, knowing the Kinect 2 can do this sort of thing, the studios would likely be pushing this measure as part of Microsoft’s negotiations with them for the movie store on One.

    • Surely a company as large as Microsoft has a lot of bargaining power, if they didn’t want it then it won’t be implemented, we’ll see.

    • But would the industry push this on Xbox when there is no similar tech on existing dvd/bluray players ntm ps3 and probably ps4 ?

    • Yeah, my first thought was public viewing, too. However, wouldn’t it bee too easy to just point the Kinect at a wall or to an area where only a single person is seated? If it is aimed at homes, couldn’t people just hide under blankets to not get registered by Kinect? What if someone walks by the couch and the license is suddenly over the limit? Does the movie just stop?
      Seems like a stupid patent, unless I’m missing something substantial here.

      • Could get some cardboard cutouts and point the kinect at them.

  4. What if nobody’s viewing it?
    Put the disc in, then hide from Kinect or turn the Kinect to face the wall?

    That’d mess with their figures and you can also feel like your sticking it to the man ;-)

  5. In theory your Xbox One could check to see if people stay in a room when adverts are on TV, which ones they watch and then target further adverts from that company.

    • or pause your live tv on the ads if you leave the room to make a brew. I honestly wouldn’t discount any bizarre, overbearing scenario at this point.

      • Sounds like the video wall bedrooms in that social media episode of 2011’s Black Mirror, where the poor guy lying in his bed had white noise played at him when he tried to close his eyes during the ads.

      • I remember that somewhat harrowing scene

    • Its why MS wants you to use it as a cable box, to monitor what shows you watch.

    • Microsoft already have patents to cover using kinect to spot branding and logos on your clothing and in your home and deliver adverts based on that.

      So if you are seen to be wearing a football shirt, you get loads of footy adverts.

      The sad thing is, gamers gave Microsoft a free pass to do this by condoning what they did this current generation.

  6. and in theory it could check to see if the licensed user is present and not play if they’re not.

    i know this may never be implemented in an actual product, but does anybody doubt ms would do something like this?
    because i don’t

    kinect was most successful on the 360 when it was used for party games, now they, might, want to punish you for having a few friends over to watch a movie/the game/whatever.

    we already know the kinect will always be listening, though ms “respect our privacy”
    this is truly some big brother shit here.

    ms have already been known to collect information about it’s users without telling them.

  7. I think there is a market for life sized cardboard cutouts of individuals so you can leave it pretending to watch the XBOX while you biff off and do something else…maybe an instant alibi maker? “No officer, the eye witness must be mistaken, as you can see from the log files on my XBOX I was in front of the TV all night.”

    Ooooh, I need a name for this now: iCardboardCutout? CutoutCoverUp…”You cut out while your cutout cuts it”…CutOutsRUS…

    • but they said it can even read your heartbeat now.

      which reminds me, whatever happened to that vitality sensor thing?

      • I’ll get my cat to sit next to my Cut-Out-Counterpart

      • Missed a trick there so i’m double posting :P

        Cut Out Counterpart for Kinect

      • Christ, I can see it now… Getting stressed out being killed online then after the match your Xbox tells you you’ve got high blood pressure then plays an advert advertising tablets etc
        This console is truly remarkable as it could potentially put doctors and NHS out of business!

      • Ah yes CutOutCounterPartForKinect…50-50 split on the compnay then?

      • also, if it hears your stomach grumble it could automatically order you a pizza.

        actually though, that’s not a bad idea, using it as a health monitoring device.
        a special version set up to monitor an old or critically ill person who lives on their own, and send for the emergency services if it detects their heartbeat has stopped.

        maybe once they get the pc version out people can come up with more creative uses like that.

    • Ha Ha…..Nice one man :)

  8. I’ve been a firm Xbox supporter this generation and honestly think it’s a better console than the PS3 (I own and use both consoles regularly), but after all the recent Microsoft announcements, I’m out. Everything I’ve read about the Xbox One seems ill-thought out and unfocused, something that is quickly becoming a hall-mark of Microsoft’s recent releases, and I’m hugely disappointed that they’ve dropped the ball so badly.

  9. Can someone explain or give me any reasons in bullet points why I should want to even think about buying a Xbox One please?

    • 1 – TELEVISION (Assuming you do not already know HOW TO WATCH TELEVISION)

      2- SPORTS (If you are AMERICAN)

      3 – THATS IT!

      • yeah, they spent most of the hour presentation showing how with the power of xbox one, you can now watch television, on your television.

        if you’re in the US at least.


      • ha ha, thanks Tuffcub.

        Does it play pre-owned games too? ;-)

      • Sure it does. You just have to pay a small fee to unlock the disc (small fee = full RRP). :P

    • The annoying thing is that if video chat becomes the new cross game chat. It is the only reason why XBOX pulled a lot more users as it is all to do with friends interacting. I know cross game chat has been much wanted on PS3 but now that the PS4 has it but doesn’t have video chat simply at the side of the screen between yourself and many friends (I imagine up to 3 would fit), I think that it will be the disappointing missing thing from the PS4.

      Annoyingly, choosing a console for many is not as simple as it is for us who read about gaming news. For many it is a matter of which one has my friend got or “I don’t want to buy one in case my friends decide to get the other one”. I think that for many, 2 games a year is pretty much the limit of their gaming experience – FIFA and COD. That is why MS had them at their conference as they are the platform sellers despite their dullness, they just work. At least at the beginning of the next gen, they will be the games that people will want to play. HOWEVER, not necessarily the games people will buy a new console for.

      • Has Sony said that there will be no video chat on PS4?

      • to be honest, what is the point of video chat? First of all I want to play a game without the distraction of a friend pissing about on the side, and secondly, I wont be looking at my mate pissing about either, because I’ll be playing the game.

        It’s another pointless addition IMO.

    • Forza – My favourite racing series ever
      Better online – not confirmed but highly likely unless PS start charging a subscription too
      Kinect – Easier to justify to the Mrs ;-)

      In all seriousness, on paper the PS4 looks better, but I will still go Xbox as that is what my mates will go for. Also I don’t really play singleplayer games anymore, ruling out almost every PS exclusive in existence.

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