Skip to comments.Big Brother alert: Microsoft wants to know how many friends you've got in your living room
Posted on 11/10/2012 11:16:00 AM PST by lowbridge
One of Microsofts latest patent applications is a humdinger. It proposes to turn the Kinect camera into a snitch for movie studios, reporting back just how many friends youve got in your living room and what theyre watching. Think that sounds alarmist? Heres what it actually says: 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. Its that blatant a system to spy on private viewing habits.
If put into practice, Microsofts plan could mean that the film youre watching suddenly stops playing if it detects that youve got more people squashed on to the sofa than the licence allows. Youd then be prompted to buy a more expensive licence to keep watching. Its as if Big Brother had built 1984s Telescreen not to monitor the population but to ensure no one was pirating the Two Minutes Hate.
In all likelihood, Microsoft will struggle to actually apply this patent in the real world. While copyright holders would be delighted, customers would be turned off by such a draconian system. But thats whats interesting about this application and patent applications in general: they often reveal what companies would do if they could get away with it. The black and white drawings and blandly technical language can cover immoral, scary and downright evil ideas.
(Excerpt) Read more at blogs.telegraph.co.uk ...
Solution: fill your living room with mannequins, then sue when Microsoft stops playing your movie halfway through.
‘Smith!’ screamed the shrewish voice from the telescreen. ‘6079 Smith W.! Yes, you! Bend lower, please! You can do better than that. You’re not trying. Lower, please! That’s better, comrade. Now stand at ease, the whole squad, and watch me.’
Small problem: Kinect also has an infrared viewer. It SHOULD be able to distinguish between ‘real’ people and mannequins.
Simple solution: disconnect your Kinect camera. You don’t need it to watch movies.
Do my wife and dogs count?
So simple- use large one-way mirror
Isn't that illegal search and invasion of privacy?
Yup. Worth repeating.