IGN Microsoft has responded to fresh privacy concerns over a patent from 2011 that suggests Kinect 2 may be used as a form of visual DRM, should the company decide to implement such a measure in Xbox One.
ExtremeTech discovered the filing back in November, which is labelled as covering "content distribution regulation by viewing user." Theoretically, if the Kinect establishes there are more people in the room than is permitted according to the licence that users agree to when renting of purchasing content, the movie won't play.
"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," it reads.
According to unverified "industry sources" spoken to by MCV within the last month, this is a real thing Microsoft is planning to implement on Xbox One using Kinect 2.
Today, however, the company has responded to speculation with the following statement: "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."
That appears to be all the information the company is sharing for now. While there's no guarantee it's true, if it is then it's latest instance of a potentially concerning encroachment into privacy. Seeing as we already know that the Kinect 2's microphone will always be on and the new console won't function without the device, such a measure isn't out of the question.
Microsoft has, however, already told Polygon that privacy is of the utmost importance when it comes to Xbox One and Kinect. "The new Kinect is listening for a specific cue, like 'Xbox on'. We know our customers want and expect strong privacy protections to be built into our products, devices and services, and for companies to be responsible stewards of their data. Microsoft has more than 10 years of experience making privacy a top priority. Kinect for Xbox 360 was designed and built with strong privacy protections in place and the new Kinect will continue this commitment."