Microsoft want to spy on you through special TV

8 November 2012

"I'm watching you undress"

Here's a weird thing. Microsoft have been granted a patent on a system that uses cameras built into TVs, PCs, and smartphones and whatever else, in a bid to act as a "consumer detector," or in plain English, something to decipher whether you've paid for your content or not.

Something that's going to spy on you basically.

"A fee can be charged for each viewer of the content for each view," Patent US20120278904 reads. "Viewers may be uniquely identified and a count of the viewers determined, with the licensee then charged for each viewer accessing the content. Age and identity restrictions can be applied in this embodiment as well."

Cameras won't be the only thing spying on you, as Microsoft assumes there'll be "one of a number of suitable technologies." It talks about gesture controllers and games consoles being used to spy on you as well. Kinect boxes will be able to use "facial recognition techniques," and analyse audio input and so on.

You can only hope that this is all rendered redundant when the family cat sits itself directly in front of these scanning devices and greets it by sticking its hole right up in the grill.

Of course, regarding digital rights management, this is something of a smart move. However, there's a gigantic privacy issue and naturally, it'll only be a matter of time before we all learn how to sidestep it. The biggest problem will be Microsoft being able to convince the public this is something they should actively buy into.

Chances are, they'll be getting told to piss off in no uncertain terms.

TOPICS:   TV   Privacy


  • Phil
    Time to get out that merkin and plastic specs. No tech's gonna crack that.
  • Natty
    Twins can have a right fucking laugh with this tech.
  • I. F.
    Can you use gesture control with your cock?
  • Roy
    I already can think of many ways to get around this: all family members apart from one, have to hide in large boxes, with just small holes to look through. Or you could weahr a costume, to pretend to be the family dog! Or a very very large pillow! And the list goes on!!
  • Bill G.
    I bet if it was a patent by Apple, everyone would say it was great - iSpy anyone?
  • trading r.
    HUKD will be investigated soon
  • Tomas
    It will be offered as a user option when it eventually rolls out and the pricing will be cheaper than normal. I can't see what the big deal is, pay per person just like in the cinema. Plus you would have the reverse option of gaining credits for how many watch the adverts and watch it all without leaving the room.
  • Chewbacca
    HUKD are taxdodgers? HUKD illegally ignore the DPA?
  • catweazle
    I call shenanigans on microsofts patent, feckin Sky have been spying on us for years. I get a letter off them threatening some bogus charge every time I've unplugged phoneline to a skybox. Bastards
  • Joe S.
    I call shenanigans on catweazle. I've never had a letter off Sky banging on about bogus charges and I only plug my skybox into the phone when I want to order something from BoxOffice.
  • Rich
    I wonder if we'll see more of this kind of thing, but with home sofas and furniture...
  • Wize P.
    I have a vague recolection of this being something that Microsoft were thinking of about 20 or so years ago, using the computers microphone to monitor your room e.g. conversation and TV etc and then target ads and search results via IE. Because of the lack of broadband uptake and people actually turning computers off when not using them the idea went nowhere, or so it seemed. Or amI having a false memory implanted by apple ?
  • DragonChris
    I think I'll pass on this one, thanks M$.
  • Marky M.
    It's Microsoft. And people are assuming it'd actually work?

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