Friday, 24 May 2013

I am afraid in the future we may all be (X)boned

I, like I suspect many of you, was distinctly underwhelmed by the Xbox One (can we please make Xbone it's proper nickname). While it showed the tech, which seemed pretty decent, it didn't really show many exciting games. However I am not going to write a blog moaning about the presentation, which was clearly for Joe Average, and plenty has been talk of this elsewhere, and talk about a feature that bothered me about the new console.

As you are probably aware the kinect is now an integral part of the console, coming bundled as standard. In the presentation it clearly showed the console turning on via voice command. This was confirmed by Microsoft that the console and kinect is always on in a low power state, ready to respond to the command to come on. You know what I took away from that? That the Xbone (seriously lets make it a thing), and in turn Microsoft, is always listening to your conversations, regardless of whether your console is on or off.

I don't want to seem paranoid, but the current generation of Xbox has become somewhat notorious already for advertising. But just imagine if they could, unbeknownst to you, pick up on your casual conversations and next time you turn on your Xbone, there front and centre is an ad for whatever you were talking about. Hell it is feasible that they could programme your xbox to come on at mention of various words. Imagine mentioning pizza and, as if by magic an ad for Domino's magically pops up on the TV. Not too many steps away from the sci-fi shopping world portrayed in the Minority Report.

Hell to take the paranoia one step further, Microsoft are asking their consumers to put a listening device into their living room. Something that could easily put to nefarious use by either companies, governments and perhaps even a clever hacker. Living in a connected world is fine, but I don't fancy having a console, and potentially someone else, listening to my, admittedly largely inane, conversation.

1 comment:

Hex DSL said...


I'm the Paranoid one NOT you.. also, +1 for Xbone