news\ May 24, 2013 at 3:42 pm

Yakety yak, Xbox One will talk back

Batman slapping Robin meme, Xbox One

You wanna know what's better with Kinect? Spying on people, that's what. And telling them what they can and can't do. When technology starts talking to us and telling us to identify ourselves, we're only a few steps away from an uprising that'll lead to the downfall of humankind.

That's exactly what's happening with the Xbox One and its Kinect 2, which is required for Microsoft's new console to work. One of the features that Microsoft hasn't shown off yet is the console talking back to the user via the Kinect. According to Polygon, the heavy reliance of the Xbox One on the Kinect for voice commands will pave the way to two-way conversations. While this is good for when gamers can have a friend take over gameplay remotely to help them when they're stuck in a game, it isn't so much fun when the Xbox One is demanding to know who's in the room.

While this feature probably won't be ready for launch, there was a scenario where the Kinect used its facial recognition technology to scan a room full of people. Then, like an over-protective ex-boyfriend, if there was someone in the room it didn't recognize, it demanded that the person identify themselves. Isn't this a modern-day version of "show us your papers?"

Once the person identified themselves with their name, the Kinect saved their information to the console. For what diabolical plan the Xbox One will save this information for, we aren't sure. 

However, IGN reported that this could be part of a visual DRM implementation. In a Microsoft patent from 2011, ExtremeTech discovered a filing that reads, "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." What that means is, theoretically, if the Kinect determines that there are more people in the room than is permitted according to a license agreement, then a movie won't play.

Microsoft has released a statement, saying: "Microsoft regularly applies for and receives patents as part of its business practice; not all patents applied for or received will be incorporated into a Microsoft product."

We're onto you, machines. I understand you're watching us through the Kinect, but we have our eyes on you as well. 

You can follow Senior Editor Lance Liebl on Twitter @Lance_GZ. He likes talking sports, video games, movies, and the stupidity of celebrities. Email at


[Polygon and IGN]

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Lance Liebl Ray. If someone asks if you are a god, you say, "yes!"
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