Print 30 comment(s) - last by tamalero.. on Oct 30 at 3:01 AM

The Xbox One won't be able to watch you if you put a cover on it

Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) assures that the Xbox One will feature "robust" privacy protections. However, given recent accusations data sharing contracts with the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) and other domestic spying programs, some are fearful that the 1080p Kinect 2 sensor in the Xbox One will be used as a "Big Brother" device.

Gaming accessory maker PDP has come along and thrown fuel on that fire.  While its $19.99 USD Xbox One Kinect 2 TV mount accessory's primary purpose is ostensibly allowing you to mount the Kinect on top of your flat screen TV (versus having it sit on a nearby table or stand), it also comes with a free "privacy cover" that covers "both the RGB and IR cameras".

The plastic shroud comes in black plastic and matches the part of the stand that clips onto your TV.  The TV mount package will ship on December 4, a week and a half off the Friday, Nov. 22 launch of the Xbox One.
PDP Kinect 2 cover
To its credit, Microsoft promises:

You are in control of what Kinect can see and hear. By design, you will determine how responsive and personalized your Xbox One is to you and your family during setup. The system will navigate you through key privacy options, like automatic or manual sign in, privacy settings, and clear notifications about how data is used. When Xbox One is on and you’re simply having a conversation in your living room, your conversation is not being recorded or uploaded.

PDP's privacy cover somewhat remedies the potential spying concerns, however, it is far from complete.  After all, while it blocks the Kinect 2 from "seeing" you, Kinect 2 can still listen to you with its bank of microphones.  It wouldn't be a surprise to see future accessories pop up that include a full-length cover that also shrouds and insulates the microphones from room noises, as well.

Source: Amazon

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RE: Kinect is not something people want.
By Arsynic on 10/28/2013 2:40:03 PM , Rating: 2
The first Kinect failed to move any appreciable number of units. The games that sold were limited to dance and party games. Why would I want to buy a second one and why is Microsoft forcing everyone to buy one with their new system? It made my choice of getting a PS4 a forgone conclusion.

You answered your own question. Microsoft included it so that developers would be incentivized to create games that take advantage of it as a sensor and not a motion control device.

By inperfectdarkness on 10/29/2013 4:00:29 AM , Rating: 2
This. We all saw what happened to the Wii--developers created shovelware & (apart from Nintendo's 1st party games) there was really not much software designed to natively work with the Wii-mote as a primary means of control in a game. An add-on like Kinect1 is only going to fare worse, since there is even LESS established userbase to capitalize on that software market.

Unless it's natively bundled with the system--and well integrated--it's just a cute accessory and nothing more. Although I have a lot of negative feelings about xbone, I'm happy that this move will likely put a boot in the developers' proverbial tuckas & we might actually get some decent 3rd-party gaming out of it...this time.

"It's okay. The scenarios aren't that clear. But it's good looking. [Steve Jobs] does good design, and [the iPad] is absolutely a good example of that." -- Bill Gates on the Apple iPad

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