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Mon Dec 24, 2012, 05:27 AM

 

Microsoft Wants to Build Creepy ‘Consumer Detector’ That Charges for content by how many in a room

The Kinect add-on for Microsoft’s Xbox, which allows users to play fully-immersive games as the Kinect tracks your movements and translates them to the screen, is a fun alternative to typical couch potato gaming. But did you know it can also help corporations spy on you? America!

Back in 2011, Microsoft applied for a patent that would allow cameras and sensors, much like the ones embedded in the Kinect, to track how many people are in a room. Developed by Microsoft’s “incubation team,” which is where they test new approaches to hardware, the patent was recently made public. They’re calling the invention a “consumer detector” and it’s just as frightening as it sounds.

Once it has identified how many people are there–and even who is there–the device will charge for content accordingly. If you pay for one content license but then more viewers join the room, it could halt playback and request that you pay for a different license. That means if you plan to have a movie marathon sleepover, Microsoft would like to charge you extra copyright money for the pleasure of snuggling and watching horror movies.

http://betabeat.com/2012/11/microsofts-creepy-consumer-detector-tracks-how-many-people-are-in-a-room-and-charges-for-content-accordingly/

16 replies, 1074 views

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Arrow 16 replies Author Time Post
Reply Microsoft Wants to Build Creepy ‘Consumer Detector’ That Charges for content by how many in a room (Original post)
HiPointDem Dec 2012 OP
MADem Dec 2012 #1
HiPointDem Dec 2012 #3
MADem Dec 2012 #6
HiPointDem Dec 2012 #7
MADem Dec 2012 #15
Fumesucker Dec 2012 #11
Fumesucker Dec 2012 #9
Fumesucker Dec 2012 #2
RedCappedBandit Dec 2012 #4
renie408 Dec 2012 #5
In_The_Wind Dec 2012 #8
Fumesucker Dec 2012 #10
Berlum Dec 2012 #12
customerserviceguy Dec 2012 #13
rsweets Dec 2012 #14
HiPointDem Dec 2012 #16

Response to HiPointDem (Original post)

Mon Dec 24, 2012, 05:31 AM

1. So, if you've got a couple of Irish wolfhounds, they get charged as people?

This is a stupid idea.

And then there's always the "I wasn't watching it--I was just in the room" excuse. I can relate to that--I am often in a room with others who are watching tv, while I'm reading the paper online or something....

I think they took out the patent against the day that it might come in handy; not that they are "planning" anything actively.

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Response to MADem (Reply #1)

Mon Dec 24, 2012, 05:33 AM

3. if they can recognize who's in the room, they can tell who's watching & who's a wolfhound.

 

If they're planning it, they're planning to use it.

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Response to HiPointDem (Reply #3)

Mon Dec 24, 2012, 05:41 AM

6. I don't think people will put up with that shit.

I would be interested in seeing just how they can tell one large warm blooded organism from another, absent using two way video and having someone do a head count.

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Response to MADem (Reply #6)

Mon Dec 24, 2012, 05:42 AM

7. they put up with it already.

 

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Response to HiPointDem (Reply #7)

Mon Dec 24, 2012, 01:46 PM

15. Well, not in my house, they don't! nt

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Response to MADem (Reply #6)

Mon Dec 24, 2012, 05:59 AM

11. I'd start with something like this

It's a swiss army knife of robotic vision components that can be pipelined in apparently infinitely configurable ways if you have a powerful enough processor.

It took me about two hours to figure out the program and write the pipeline I needed for my application.

http://www.roborealm.com/

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Response to MADem (Reply #1)

Mon Dec 24, 2012, 05:46 AM

9. Detecting warm bodies is one thing, reliably detecting human beings would require software

Software which could then be set to figuring out what people are doing, something it would have to do as part of detecting people in the first place.

This sounds like something corporate Amercia would cream its jeans over.

It's nearly astounding how much info that can be pulled out of a not very sophisticated sensor if you have enough computer power. I have software running on my pc right now that will display a reasonably clear picture from a webcam video feed so dark and noisy you can't see anything there at all before processing.

http://www.roborealm.com/

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Response to HiPointDem (Original post)

Mon Dec 24, 2012, 05:33 AM

2. Anything that will reliably detect people in a room will be able to tell what they are doing

What could possibly go wrong?

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Response to HiPointDem (Original post)

Mon Dec 24, 2012, 05:34 AM

4. What a horrible idea. LOL.

Remind me not to watch movies with my Xbox. Oh wait, I don't own one. Well, certainly won't buy one now.

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Response to RedCappedBandit (Reply #4)

Mon Dec 24, 2012, 05:37 AM

5. /\ This/\

I think Microsoft probably needs to rethink the 'ick' factor here. I would avoid buying any electronics with this capability to the point I would give up TV, movies, etc, PERIOD.

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Response to renie408 (Reply #5)

Mon Dec 24, 2012, 05:44 AM

8. Hear hear.

I don't want an invasion of my privacy.

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Response to HiPointDem (Original post)

Mon Dec 24, 2012, 05:48 AM

10. One final thought on this

I'm already thinking of ways to fuck with such a machine without disabling it, I doubt I'm alone.

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Response to HiPointDem (Original post)

Mon Dec 24, 2012, 06:12 AM

12. Big Brother is Watching You

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Response to HiPointDem (Original post)

Mon Dec 24, 2012, 07:23 AM

13. One more story that makes me glad I cut the cable

Now, I'm 100% on antenna, no charges, and no bullshit spy technology.

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Response to HiPointDem (Original post)

Mon Dec 24, 2012, 09:34 AM

14. didn't nielsen have this technology on their cable boxes long ago

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Response to rsweets (Reply #14)

Mon Dec 24, 2012, 02:22 PM

16. no. & nielsen paid the household to collect its info; the household didn't pay nielsen.

 

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