Features & News

Better (Targeted Advertising) With Kinect

October 7, 2013, Author: Matt Parker

As if people weren’t feeling bad enough about the Kinect, another minor storm has been spotted on the horizon. The security conscious of you might have already had concerns about having a camera plonked in your living-room that’s connected to an internet-enabled device.

Only a few days ago, a marketing executive from Microsoft called Albert Penello decided to engage with NeoGAF and allay their fears about security and, in particular, the Kinect being used as an advertising tool. He said;

“First – nobody is working on that. I’m not aware of any active work in this space. Second – if something like that ever happened, you can be sure it wouldn’t happen without the user having control over it. Period,”

As this is a Microsoft story, can we all guess what happened only a few days later?

If you guessed that someone else at Microsoft went and contradicted what was said, you’d be right. What do you win? My acknowledgement that you’ve been reading any form of gaming website for the last 6 months. Well done you.

At an advertising event, Yusuf Mehdi, Microsoft’s VP of Marketing claimed that they were looking at ways of using the Xbox One and Kinect to “to bridge some of the world between online and offline”. Whatever that really means.

One thing that’s certain is that people at Microsoft are clearly excited about and looking into the potential marketing power the Kinect could provide, despite what others might have said. It’s certainly got the team over at Advertising Age all worked up as in their article they said;

“Xbox One can essentially work like [a] TV that watches you, bringing marketers a huge new trove of data about what’s going on in living rooms, including, as one marketer put it after the speech, unprecedented information about how people engage with TV advertising”

How creepy does that sound? A TV that watches you? No thanks!

Always watching. Until the inevitable day you throw it in the cupboard...

Always watching. Until the inevitable day you throw it in the cupboard…

As with most of these things, we can safely assume that there’s an ‘opt-out’ option and let’s also not forget that the Kinect is no longer required for the Xbox One to work. What we can’t forget, because Microsoft is so bloody keen on reminding us, is the fact that the left hand doesn’t know what the right hand’s doing.

Whatever ends up happening, we can add this to the list of contradictory statements that have been a trademark of Microsoft’s launch so far.

Sources: Advertising Age, MCV