clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Xbox One's Kinect was not designed with ad functionality in mind, says Microsoft

The next-gen Kinect shipping with the Xbox One was not designed for optimization of dashboard ad placement or any sort of ad-based functionality, Microsoft director of product planning Albert Penello wrote in a NeoGAF thread.

Penello went on to explain that NuAds, the "interactive advertising done on the [Xbox One]" uses the console and Kinect's functions to interact with players rather than just provide advertising spots to watch.

"There's nothing particularly interesting happening here unless you're in the advertising business, and we've done a few on Xbox 360 today," he wrote.

"What I think you're asking about is an interview done earlier in the year where someone was talking about how some of the new Xbox One Kinect features could be used in advertising — since we can see expressions, engagement, etc. and how that might be used to target advertising," he added. "This is the point that seems to draw some controversy."

Penello wrote that "nobody is working on [that kind of project]" as Microsoft has "a lot more interesting and pressing things to dedicate time towards." He added that if an ad program utilizing the Kinect were ever set up, it wouldn't be implemented without users having complete control over it.

"First, Kinect can recognize your face and log you in automatically," he explained. "There could be some cool features we could enable if we stored that data in the cloud, like being able to be auto-recognized at a friend's. I get asked for that feature a lot. But, for privacy reasons, your facial data doesn't leave the console.

"Second: You'll see us do some things around Skype that freezes the video when Skype is not in focus (meaning, it's not the primary app)," he continued. "If you go back to the home screen, or launch another app, we actually stop the video stream. We do this so the user can't even ACCIDENTALLY have the video stream going on in the background."

"I'll say this — we take a lot of heat around stuff we've done and I can roll with it. Some of it is deserved. But preventing Kinect from being used inappropriately is something the team takes very seriously."

Earlier this week Microsoft released two videos demonstrating the "brains and eyes" behind the next-gen Kinect's sensors.

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for Patch Notes

A weekly roundup of the best things from Polygon