Wednesday, 12 June 2013

'Always Listening' | Xbox One and what this phrase really means

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As well as the issues 'Always Online' and no used games surrounding Xbox One there are some privacy rumours floating around. People are no fixated on the Xbox One's Kinect to be constantly 'spying' on gamers through audio and video recording. Even when the console is in standby. As if anyone actually cares what you are doing 24/7 let alone wants to watch it on a feed.

First things first, Microsoft confirmed that you are in fact able to completely power down the Xbox One (including Kinect) without unplugging the console. (Kotaku, 2013) therefore those who really are paranoid about whether someone can see what they are doing can rest easy if they've switched their console off.
But people are still wrapped up around this phrase 'Always Listening', this is merely a term used which has been twisted by people. As Microsoft have fully integrated Kinect 2.0 into the Xbox One as a permanent device they are involving the use of voice command as much as possible. In the audio industry it's been a challenge for technology developers to create something that can detect voice through a noisy environment whilst still running on a tiny amount of power. Microsoft have done this with Kinect and I thoroughly applaud them for that. But the term 'Always Listening' refers to the microphone within the Kinect waiting for a command. It is listening out for instructions on what to do next. This does not mean it is a direct feed to Microsoft who can hear you telling a player in America how you are defecating over him and made love to his mother last night.

I personally am looking forward to seeing some in game implementation of Kinect 2.0. Along with integration with the controllers rumble triggers.

Thanks for reading,

Rob Tyler

V | G | A


Kotaku. 2013. Xbox One's Kinect Can Turn Off, Microsoft Says, Noting Privacy Worries. [online] Available at: [Accessed: 12 Jun 2013].

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