(Thomas Dishaw) According to recent Nielsen statistics 56% of the households in the US own a video game console. Unbeknownst to many Americans this can be an open invitation to let big brother into your house.
Disguised as a video game add-on, Microsoft’s Kinect is the all seeing eye that sits on top of your TV watching your every move, listening to every conversation and even monitoring vital health information.
Now imagine if the Government went door to door and wanted to put a black box on top of your TV (and I’m not talking about your cable box) that did the same things, hopefully you would tell them hell no and immediately get out of your house.
But since the Kinect is disguised as entertainment most people will gladly accept it.
Below are some eye opening facts and quotes to think about before you make that purchase this fall.
- Kinect will monitor the number of viewers in a room and check to see if the number of occupants exceeded a certain threshold set by the content provider. If there are too many warm bodies present, the device owner would be prompted to purchase a license for a greater number of viewers.
Coupled with the Xbox One, Kinect will now be able to hear and understand two people talking at once, even detecting whether mouths are open in a dark room.
- Inside the new Kinect 2 will be a high-resolution camera and a high-fidelity microphone, and gamers have already trashed Microsoft for the potential Kinect 2 has for peering into homes.
- The new Kinect can see in the dark, pick out human voices in a noisy living room and read your heart rate just by looking at your face. It was unveiled by Microsoft last week as a fixture of the fall-releasing Xbox One. The thing has to be plugged in for the console to work, and is in some way already checking out what’s going on in the room it’s in.
- Microsoft is actually trying to integrate Kinect into the classroom, sold as a learning tool Kinect will continue to spy on your child all day in school and at home.
- Developed by PrimeSense, Kinect can interpret specific gestures – allowing for true hands-free control using infrared sensors, a camera and microchip to track the movement of individuals in a 3D space. While not confirmed, some experts suggest PrimeSense’s technology was used to train soldiers.
- The new capabilities work alongside improvements to Kinect that allow it to track thumbs, 25 joints of up to six people, and heart rates by scanning a face. While the multiplayer gaming applications for multiple voice processing are obvious, Microsoft is also aiming its Xbox One console firmly for TV and entertainment.
After reading all the capabilities the Kinect has we all know this personal information would never be accessed by our loving Government without a warrant, or be passed on to the FBI, CIA or DEA to be scrutinized in America’s secret courts.
Since Microsoft has the customers privacy in mind and would never sell us out for profit, we can be assured that marketing groups, corporations and health care providers will never access our browser habits, purchase history and health information, all of which can be available through the Kinect/Xbox system.
Most Outlandish Quotes From Microsoft Claiming To Protect Our Privacy
- Microsoft says it doesn’t plan to abuse that power, and claims it couldn’t even if it tried.
- Kinect’s cameras and microphones aren’t actually recording or transmitting any audio or video data back to Microsoft’s servers without the user’s explicit consent, and all ambiently collected data is anonymized. While some voice commands are processed at Microsoft’s servers, they’re converted to text before they ever leave the machine, and biometric data is translated into numerical values that simply indicate, say, where a player’s limbs are during online multiplayer games. While Microsoft says the Kinect is an “integral part” of the new Xbox, it also claims that sensing can be paused.“
- Microsoft insists that it wouldn’t help the government turn Kinect into an eavesdropping device. Quite the opposite, in fact. “Absent a new law, we don’t believe the government has the legal authority to compel us or any other company that makes products with cameras and microphones to start collecting voice and video data, and we’d aggressively challenge in court any attempts to try and force us to do so,” the company told The Verge by email. Microsoft also confirmed that the new Kinect, like the original, has an activity light when it’s turned on.
- “We aren’t using Kinect to snoop on anybody at all,” said Microsoft’s Phil Harrison.