Xbox One’s Kinect Might Include Visual DRM Feature

Published 1 year ago by

Xbox One Kinect Visual DRM

Like it or not, Kinect will continue to be an integral part of the Xbox experience, even as Microsoft prepares for a new console generation with the Xbox One. The next generation of Kinect will better register players, work in low light conditions, and it will be much more responsive.

With a more competent motion-controlled device, however, comes an even greater connection to the Xbox One. So much so, in fact, that the Kinect might introduce a new concept: visual DRM. In other words, “Big Brother” might be coming sooner than we think.

If a patent application by Microsoft is to be believed, the publisher might be looking to use Kinect 2.0 to evaluate consumer claims. For example, if a gamer purchased a rental through the Xbox One, and claimed it was for a single viewer, Kinect 2.0 could make sure they aren’t lying.

If the device registers multiple viewers, for example, then there could be a situation where playback halts until the individual purchases a new license. Basically, the Kinect would be used for a “license check” device as seen in the diagram below.

Kinect Visual DRM Diagram

Although Microsoft has secured this patent, there is no guarantee such a feature would be packaged in with the Xbox One. As Microsoft tells MCV, the company regularly receives patents, but “not all patents applied for or received will be incorporated into a Microsoft product.”

Microsoft is already walking on thin ice regarding used games, so they are likely trying to defer further hate with a swift official statement. That doesn’t, however, mean Kinect won’t be used in a similar fashion further down the line.

Speaking of Kinect, Activision’s Eric Hirshberg teased motion controller functionality for Call of Duty: Ghosts when discussing Microsoft’s new console. While Hirshberg wouldn’t say exactly how COD: Ghosts plans to use the Xbox One’s Kinect, he did highlight vocal interaction as an interesting feature.

Considering Call of Duty: Ghosts‘ narrative centers on a group of soldiers — appropriately dubbed “ghosts” — we could see the game using Kinect for squad commands. Call of Duty isn’t a franchise known for strategic maneuvers, but perhaps that is changing in the next-gen.

Call of Duty: Ghosts - Something's Burning

Obviously, Microsoft is only in the first stage of what should be a multi-stage promotional tour for the Xbox One. However, while we learned a name, saw a few games, and discovered new features, there are more questions than ever. Hopefully, with E3 right around the corner, we will better understand how Microsoft plans to approach certain features like Kinect and used games.

How would you feel about a visual DRM feature using Kinect? How would you like to see Call of Duty: Ghosts uses Microsoft’s motion controller.

Source: MCV

TAGS: Activision, Call of Duty Ghosts, Infinity Ward, Kinect, Microsoft, Xbox One

  • Varteras

    I can see nothing going wrong with this. Ever.

    /end sarcasm

  • Michael

    This is ridiculous. Why should I pay for 3 people to watch a movie in my own home if I own the Xbox? Netflix doesn’t charge you for each person watching. No one in the home entertainment industry should. The only case this should be is the Movie Theaters. Not to mention Microsoft and anyone else could spy on us through the kinect sensor. I hope we can cover up the eye to only use the controller and not get in trouble for that for some frickin’ privacy!

    • Michael

      Or maybe I should just disguise any other person watching as furniture.

      • HelghastUser


      • Exodude

        Sounds like you will have to. Until Microsoft notifies you that you have too many lamp shades in your room…

        • Falcon D. Stormvoice

          “I’m sorry, I’m afraid I can’t let you do that.”

  • HelghastUser


    How dare you talk about COD and not talk about the Dog. He was the best thing out of the whole COD reveal :-)

    Also while this report to use it as a means of visual DRM(Nice wording BTW) is new to me, You could’ve also expanded the story by including the fact o how this could easily be viewed as a violation of ones privacy. It’s been confirmed that the camera and mic would always be on even in a low power state, Always on, Always listening or how MS said numerous times, Always connected..

  • PromKnight

    all i read was “For example” and “not all patents applied for or received will be incorporated into a Microsoft product”

    And i think that sums up this topic… in any case a door in front of the camera will do just fine.

    • Falcon D. Stormvoice

      “Error 00348753: remove obstruction to continue receiving video playback”

  • Shalkowski

    Watch, I’m gonna get a console ban for covering my HAL 9000 with a sticky note.

    This info alone is enough for me to say f*ck you to Microsoft.

  • GaygameR

    so i rent a game and my boyfriend walks into the room for a second to get something and the game crashes and i have to get it again from the renter?

    ps4 here i come.

  • ThetaSigma

    Screw xbox go PS4

  • AJ wentworth

    🎮🚫👈 no spybox for me . Ps4 is what I’m getting

  • Darren

    MS has lost their minds with the level of privacy invasion and restrictive requirements in their new box!

  • Andrew

    Capitalism and first world problems at its best. All these companies want is more money from gamers other than paying a ridiculous 60 usd for a new game. No T.Hanks I’ll stick to living life and playing old school games.