The new Kinect is an essential part of the Xbox One. The motion-capturing device is actually integrated right into the console and has been configured to work even if the console is switched off.
From the way Microsoft has explained things, it looks more like ‘VICKY’ from iRobot; an AI being observing and recording your every movement. Creepy.
As a step into the future, Microsoft has done it so that the new Kinect is ever aware and is waiting on your next order. Something we get excited about after seeing in movies but in real life it brings up the issue of privacy.
If this device stays on even after the console is powered down, what’s stopping it from recording and sending data?
Microsoft’s Phil Harrison responded to the concern during an interview with Eurogamer:
Yep. Microsoft has very, very good policies around privacy. We’re a leader in the world of privacy, I think you’ll find. We take it very seriously. We aren’t using Kinect to snoop on anybody at all. We listen for the word ‘Xbox on’ and then switch on the machine, but we don’t transmit personal data in any way, shape or form that could be personally identifiable to you, unless you explicitly opt into that.
He also explained that while the Kinect is alive without the Xbox One, it’s not able to transmit any personal data.
Xbox One releases later this year in time for the holidays and from the looks of things, the new Kinect is going to be a mandatory addition to the console.