Microsoft recently unveiled their newest system titled Xbox One, and with it, has come a storm of backlash over their patented user monitoring system. The system monitors users’ advertising habits and can even decipher when users are watching based on eye movement and heart rate. Microsoft hopes to use this technology to award television achievements and also work with advertisers to tailor ads specific to each individual user.
The negative reaction comes from the idea of an intrusive ‘big brother’ effect brought on by the new system. With the Xbox One system, the Kinect video camera is required for operation at all times. In other words; the system will not function without the video camera in use. Many are crying foul claiming that this is crosses the line and violates gamers’ inherent right to privacy when in their home. The online community seems to overwhelmingly agree with the invasive nature of this new system.
It is apparent that Microsoft is going to need to reevaluate their offering before the product hits shelves; otherwise, this system has the potential to be a huge failure. Console sales have reduced from year-to-year, and the introduction of a system which monitors user activity could be the reason customers choose not to purchase. Another note worth mentioning is that Xbox One will not play any games from previous consoles; therefore requiring all customers to purchase all new games at $60+ per game. This specifically has spurred the conversation that open source PC services are now more attractive than console games. It’ll be interesting to see how this console will fare once released.