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XBox (Games) Advertising Input Devices Microsoft Hardware

Microsoft Exec Says Xbox One Kinect Is Not Built For Advertising 75

Posted by timothy
from the more-to-come-next-time-around dept.
MojoKid writes "Among the various SNAFUs and PR misfires related to the Xbox One release earlier this year, one item that had people upset was that Kinect would be used for advertising--or worse, that the Xbox One Kinect was actually designed with advertising in mind. The source was a UI designer who was expounding the capabilities of the Kinect and how it could be used to deliver interactive ads and used for native advertising. However, Microsoft Director of Product Planning Albert Penello threw cold water on much of it. 'First--nobody is working on that,' he said. 'We have a lot more interesting and pressing things to dedicate time towards.' He also stated that if Microsoft were to engage in something along those lines, users would definitely have control over it, meaning that Kinect would not be spying on you; you would have to engage with Kinect for anything to happen."
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Microsoft Exec Says Xbox One Kinect Is Not Built For Advertising

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  • by symbolset (646467) * on Saturday October 05, 2013 @05:07PM (#45046935) Homepage Journal
    They would never lie to us.
    • Re:We can trust them (Score:5, Interesting)

      by girlintraining (1395911) on Saturday October 05, 2013 @05:48PM (#45047115)

      They would never lie to us.

      Yeah... about that... while I can't find the text of that leaked XBox memo because Microsoft has been busy suing and scrubbing it off google search results, it's pretty clear that their definition of not lying is basically telling half-truths, white lies, and spin control. Like, for example, "Xbox One Kinect Is Not Built For Advertising" ... well in the strict MicrosoftieSpeak(tm) sense, that's correct; it was built for entertainment. The fact that it's loaded down with a fuckton of advertising is just, you know, an extra 'feature'.

      • While I agree with you about the half truth's, keep in mind that Sony also has a dodgy past as far as promises made and broken, along with root kits etc.
        That being said if the advert is more entertaining to play than Gears of war than I say WTF, let's play. (Especially if it's longer than Gears of war was).
    • Re:We can trust them (Score:5, Informative)

      by newcastlejon (1483695) on Saturday October 05, 2013 @05:49PM (#45047117)
      I'd be more inclined to trust him if ads didn't already occupy more than half of what I see when I turn on my 360. I'd also be less inclined to call him rude names if one of said ads wasn't a short loop video pushing some crap on Discovery Channel that I'm never going to watch.
    • by AmiMoJo (196126) *

      Notice how he said they were not working on it /now/, but that if (when) it happens you will have control over it. Control meaning you can turn it off by unplugging it, not that you can disable the ads or spying when it's in use.

    • They would never lie to us.

      And, even if everything they said were true, it would be a carefully worded denial that anything of that nature is currently in the works, not a statement about what may or may not be the case later in the console's life. (Just look at how the 360's dashboard changed over time as MS realized that there was valuable ad revenue to be had there...)

    • by stms (1132653)

      Most likely they're not lying. It's not built for advertising. The fact that they will be able to use it for advertising is just incidental. Personally I will not buy a Kinect. If they want to try to sell me a Xbone without a Kinect there may be a chance of me buying it shortly before hell freezes over.

    • They didn't mention advertising at all in the first WEEK after they announced it. Microsoft marketing guys haven't mentioned that it can read two sets of lips at a time so that it can target ads based on who's in the room... Nobody at all has thought about this.

      Like how the system won't operate with kinect unplugged.... Where are we getting these crazy ideas?

    • Albert Penello is also quoted as saying this on the topic:

      It was an interview done speculatively, and I'm not aware of any active work in this space.

      So I wouldn't exactly take his limited view as a yardstick by which to measure how much data they are collecting and for what purposes.

  • by Animats (122034) on Saturday October 05, 2013 @05:12PM (#45046961) Homepage

    It sees you when you're sleeping.
    It knows when you're awake.
    It knows if you've been bad or good.

  • by fox171171 (1425329) on Saturday October 05, 2013 @05:15PM (#45046973)
    Microsoft Exec Says Xbox One Kinect Is Not Built For Advertising

    Three letters. NSA.
    • Microsoft Exec Says Xbox One Kinect Is Not Built For Advertising

      Three letters. NSA.

      Hear hear!

      "Can be used for" is a MUCH larger set than "Was built for".

      But TFA gets sillier:

      '..nobody is working on that,' he said. 'We have a lot more interesting and pressing things to dedicate time towards.'

      NOBODY at Microsoft has time to work on building a platform that would suck in hundreds of millions, when they already have the underlying technology working?

      if Microsoft were to engage in something along those lines,

  • Sony haven't put their foot up their bum-hole yet, whereas Microsoft have tried inserting the entire MLS roster up their poopy. Many Xbox fans are jumping ship with pre-orders. Nintendo massively underestimated gamers with the dreadful Wii U. Unless the steam-boxen are dirt cheap, Sony have going to wipe the floor this time simply because everyone has lost the plot.

    • Steamboxes will be cheaper than the other consoles. The hardware will be more expensive. But if you count things like paying for online, mods, backwards compatibility and steam sales, they will be cheaper in the long run. Valves problem is that most people rather buy stuff cheap and pay monthly payments.
    • by tlhIngan (30335)

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday October 05, 2013 @02:17PM (#45046985)

      Sony haven't put their foot up their bum-hole yet, whereas Microsoft have tried inserting the entire MLS roster up their poopy. Many Xbox fans are jumping ship with pre-orders. Nintendo massively underestimated gamers with the dreadful Wii U. Unless the steam-boxen are dirt cheap, Sony have going to wipe the floor this time simply because everyone has lost the plot.

      That's the scary part of Sony. Like a politician that lets the oppositi

  • by Anonymous Coward

    http://www.google.com/patents/US20130125161 [google.com]

    A "reward system" which makes use of "all linear video content viewing behaviors of the user." Sure gives you that warm, fuzzy feeling inside, especially with Microsoft PR goons coming out with press releases like this.

    "We're totally not doing that. Even if we were doing that, and we're totally not, the user (because we don't think of you as people any more) will have control. They can either play their XBone or they can turn it off and avoid being an eyepiece for

  • original post (Score:5, Informative)

    by Gravis Zero (934156) on Saturday October 05, 2013 @05:26PM (#45047023)

    http://www.neogaf.com/forum/showpost.php?p=84471421&postcount=1590 [neogaf.com]

    Albert Penello, MS Director of Product Planning wrote:

    Albert, I'd definitely like to hear more about NUad as well.

    Well I think there's two things you're asking. NuAds by definition is simply interactive advertising done on the platform. Using the functions of the console and Kinect to interact vs. just watching a spot. There's nothing particularly interesting happening here unless you're in the advertising business, and we've done a few on Xbox 360 today.

    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. This is the point that seems to draw some controversy.

    First - nobody is working on that. We have a lot more interesting and pressing things to dedicate time towards. It was an interview done speculatively, and I'm not aware of any active work in this space.

    Second - if something like that ever happened, you can be sure it wouldn't happen without the user having control over it. Period.

    Two examples of how we deal with similar things today:

    First, Kinect can recognize your face and log you in automatically. 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). 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.

    Hope that helps.

    that was his emphasis, not mine.

    so basically, everything he's saying could be wrong.

    • Re:original post (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Luckyo (1726890) on Saturday October 05, 2013 @06:09PM (#45047217)

      "Inappropriate use" - anything we do not want user to do with it.
      "Appropriate use" - anything we want user to do with it, or do to user.

      Frankly, if what he's saying is true, he'd be fired the same day after giving this interview. MS is trying very hard to enter VoD/living room market, and that market largely functions based on efficient advertising. If they weren't exploring usage of extremely complex sensor system that identifies monitors people and their movements in the room as well as the room itself as to help make advertising much more efficient, they would be utterly stupid. It's the extremely obvious low hanging fruit.

  • "... you would have to engage with Kinect for anything to happen"

    So it wouldn't be another condition buried in the hundreds of pages of EULA that the average person has no chance of understanding?

    • "... you would have to engage with Kinect for anything to happen"

      So it wouldn't be another condition buried in the hundreds of pages of EULA that the average person has no chance of understanding?

      Given that the Kinect is a high-precision video, audio, and depth-of-field sensor, with real-time position and gesture identification for human targets, is there anything short of sneaking up behind it in a ghillie suit that doesn't qualify as 'engaging with Kinect'?

  • If a product is subsidized, like a free paper, or radio/television, ok.

    If I'm paying £££ ($$$ if you're in the states!) then I'm not interested in a single line of text hawking some cheesy shit I'm never going to buy.

    • This is pretty much why we told Sky to go fuck themselves.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      If I'm paying £££ ($$$ if you're in the states!) then I'm not interested in a single line of text hawking some cheesy shit I'm never going to buy.

      Unicode Alert! Unicode Alert!

      .

      This warning was brought to you by the /. Non-ASCII Legacy Warning System. Unicode support provided by Duke Nukem Forever.

  • That's what he's paid to do, so that's what he does.
  • by Sponge Bath (413667) on Saturday October 05, 2013 @05:50PM (#45047133)

    Let's get in on the act:
    Apple: It just works.
    Google does not give data to the NSA.
    Linux device drivers are easy for normal end users to find, compile and install.

    Ha! This is fun.

    • by fisted (2295862)

      Linux device drivers are easy for normal end users to find, compile and install.

      Trivial, I'd say, because they are part of Linux.

      • by Kalriath (849904)

        Unless it's graphics. Or Lexmark printers.

        Then fuck you is what they are.

        • by fisted (2295862)
          Right, most the printer drivers come with CUPS. Wrong, most graphics drivers come with Linux. If you're into proprietary drivers, it isn't too hard to find them on nvidia's or AMD's website.
  • Just read the headline of the summery, was enough, I've come to know BS when and it's presentation.

  • As the marketing info for the next-gen consoles starts to hit, I am very pleased with my decision never to have bought any console.

    While there are some console games that I regret having missed, being a PC gamer, they can easily be counted on one hand.

    I'm currently hoping that Steam announces Half-Life 3 as a SteamOS exclusive, even if just for 6 months, which will finally take Microsoft out of PC gaming.

    I think that it would continue the current PC gaming renaissance for a good long time.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Half-Life 3 as a SteamOS exclusive would not just be the end of Microsoft in PC gaming, but of PC gaming in general.

      Steam is the leading content delivery platform for PC gaming and Valve is widely considered as the most PC-focused of all major game publishers. The majority of their fans and supporters (and customers) are PC gamers.
      If they decide to make the next title in their flagship series a SteamOS exclusive, even just for limited time, that would set a clear signal that they are giving up on the PC gam

      • by PopeRatzo (965947) on Saturday October 05, 2013 @09:58PM (#45048405) Homepage Journal

        Half-Life 3 as a SteamOS exclusive would not just be the end of Microsoft in PC gaming, but of PC gaming in general.

        Nonsense. You'd have PC gamers all over the world partitioning their hard drives to put SteamOS on it (or running it in virtualization?).

        And if it was just for six months, it wouldn't make any difference at all. I mean, GTA V is a console exclusive for six months and it's not signaling the end of console gaming.

        I don't think you quite understand what SteamOS is. It's not a console. It's not a box. Even the "Steam Box" they're making is just off-the-shelf components, built just like games build their machines. If you can dual-boot Linux and Windows, then you can easily dual-boot SteamOS and Windows.

        If you think that's a step to far for gamers, you must not know a lot of PC gamers and the extents to which we will go to play our games as they were meant to be played.

        Further, Half-Life 3 has nearly endless consumer capital built up. People have waited a decade. Waiting six months to get it on a console wouldn't hurt sales one tiny bit.

        the next generation of SteamOS - or even this generation, when it is released in its final version - will then be heavily locked down and not as easy to install on a PC

        Where are you getting that? You haven't read a lot about SteamOS have you? Say...do you work for Microsoft?

        Assuming you don't work for Microsoft, I would go over the Rock, Paper, Shotgun and read the past few weeks' worth of stories about SteamOS. Did you know that not only are the Steam Boxes going to be built from off-the-shelf components, but they're even making the CAD files from their Steam Box case openly available to anyone who wants to make one of their own. I have seen nothing about any "locked-down" SteamOS that can't be installed on any PC. Not one thing.

  • by sigmabody (1099541) on Saturday October 05, 2013 @06:39PM (#45047377)

    No worries, the Kinect only needs to be connected and powered on for the system to function, you can "turn it off" (in software), and it won't do "anything" [that you can see]. Moreover, the XBone doesn't need an always-on internet connection, so even if it were watching your every move and listening to you 24/7, it wouldn't be uploading that information until the next time you connected. And even if it were secretly doing that, Microsoft wouldn't be sharing that data with the government unless legally required to. And even if we were sharing the data voluntarily through a well-documented Prism access tunnel, you have nothing to worry about unless you are a terrorist. And you're not a terrorist, are you?

  • by gallondr00nk (868673) on Saturday October 05, 2013 @07:19PM (#45047621)

    We have a lot more interesting and pressing things to dedicate time towards.

    Sure, for now. Wasn't there also a time when X-Box Live didn't have adverts, or at the very least redesigns of the interface added more?

    We'll see, give them a couple of years.

  • Consoles and games in general were not made to advertise. The fact that they have to point it out sounds like they're doing something terribly malicious with the console, which is not surprising to say the least.
  • by lubaciousd (912505) on Sunday October 06, 2013 @01:53AM (#45049155)
    The first time I saw a screen-shot of Windows 8, I couldn't help but feel like the tile-oriented format was designed to shoehorn advertisements into the user interface. For a long time Microsoft relied on large-scale OEM business contracts to make money, and now that more price-efficient alternatives are available for office software and operating systems, they're approaching the opposite extreme of monthly subscriptions and integrated advertisement. They built these elements into XBox Live first, correctly assuming that gamers would be willing to put up with it so long as decent titles appeared on MS consoles. Remember when they first announced the original XBox? All of the concerns and criticisms that I had then(too proprietary, not enough 3rd party support, deference to the loyal customer base) have emerged again, but they lack the air-tight PC-gaming community dominance that they possessed circa 2001. For a long time, they had an array of products that was good enough to keep users from leaving; recently, they've made a series of products (Zune, XBox 1, Surface 1/2, Windows 8, Windows Smartphones) that are far enough from what consumers, and more importantly, loyal customers want, that they are approaching a catastrophic lack of interest. As much I would love to relish the downfall of the M$ of yore, I wish they would behave more like a competitor to Apple and start putting out products that just work again; they really had home-runs when it came to Windows XP and Windows 7, and I don't understand why they abandoned what was working so well for them.
  • If they aren't even looking into it and doing research on a potentially powerful form of revenue then they are idiots. I know no one wants it but as a business they need to examine profitability and user reception as a factor to be tested.
  • ...The marketing division is working hard to fix this bug.

  • ...Gun maker says guns are not for murder.
  • If it was just built for advertising I'm sure Microsoft could make it evil enough in it's own right to make people feel uncomfortable. But if we consider the bigger picture and throw in some NSA interests, then it becomes scary.

    So we have a device in the living room that is always on, always connected and can recognize who is in the room. This means you have to assume there will be a record in some NSA database not only of your playing habits, but also of all people who ever sat there in the couch with you.

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