Xbox One's Kinect Can Actually Be Turned Off

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Xbox One's Kinect Can Actually Be Turned Off

Kinect Pic

Microsoft has detailed the operation of the Xbox One's most oddly controversial feature - its off switch.

The recent reveal of the Xbox One left a lot of questions unanswered. Instead of building mystery and hype, some of the murky details surrounding Microsoft's upcoming console have led consumers to assume the worst. Chief among these worries are the concerns that the Kinect component of the machine will need to be constantly watching and listening, since the ability to turn on your console via voice commands requires the Kinect to be on all the time. A Microsoft spokesperson has addressed these privacy concerns, and promises that Microsoft won't become the new Big Brother.

"It is not always watching or always listening," the spokesperson explains. "You can turn the system completely off. This would use no power and turn everything off. We'll share more details about how it all works later."

It seems a little silly to need an official statement to tell us that we can turn our gaming machine off, but there's weight to the public's concerns. In the midst of the always-online scare, the threat of your Xbox constantly spying on you from your living room doesn't seem that far-fetched. The Kinect will be required to play games on the Xbox One, and the new next-gen model of its hardware will be much harder to spoof than the current iteration. The new Kinect is powerful enough to see in the dark and measure your heartrate from your facial expression, so naturally it would be bad if that recording software fell into the wrong hands.

"We are designing the new Kinect with simple, easy methods to customize privacy settings, provide clear notifications and meaningful privacy choices for how data will be used, stored, and shared," the Microsoft representative says.

It's good to know that Microsoft is paying attention to our privacy concerns, at least, but I'm not entirely convinced. Privacy settings are all well and good... but maybe keep a spare cloth around to cover the sensors when you don't need them. Just in case.

Source: Kotaku

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You would think with all the concern over the whole "Always On" thing they would be quicker to tell people that they can turn it off, but whatever. Just goes in line with how badly they've handled everything.

I'd still be more comfortable with a blanket over the damn thing if I have to be in the same room with it.

And lets not forget this little tidbit.

I think this news just invalidated a penny arcade comic and a yahtzee poem.

I Don't understand how the system will require kinect to be plugged in to operate, yet it can be turned off? Or maybe he was just referring to the system itself? Interested to see where this goes, as I am still looking forward to this console.

Well, we knew we could unplug the thing, guys, I don't think anyone was assuming it had a battery that kept it spying on you until you beat it to death with a claw hammer; the question is was it designed with this functionality in mind? Does it take five times as long to start from "off" as from "standby"? Are you endangering the life-span of your hard drive every time you power the thing off?

Basically, is this another "No, it's not always on" where you're technically telling the truth while doing everything in your power to ensure that virtually no one even thinks of actually using it that way?

so, who's gonna be the first to invent the lead lined kinect muffler

What does it say about your console when it's best feature is it's off-switch?

Whew! That's a load off my mind, I can't wait to get this thing!

^ Thought by no one here. They back peddle on one big problem when the glaring issue of game ownership and the potential for this thing to shut off if your all seeing Kinnect detects too many people in a room is a bit bigger of a concern.

And how long did Microsoft take to quash this rumour?

Seriously, it's like they want Sony to win.

Notice the fact he never said the Kinect can be turned completely off. I bet that as long as the system is on the Kinect is on too. Otherwise what would be the point of making the Kinect required to be connected to the console?

"More details later"

This better be good Microsoft.

As I iterated in another thread-I refuse on the basis of Big Brother. The greatest selling point the Xbone has going for it right now is the fact that IT CAN BE TURNED OFF...That's, that's just pathetic. I'm glad it's not as orwellian as it started but all the same, it's essentially a spying hardware that I have to actively disable to stop it from spying on me, doesn't make it any less of a spying device in my books.

All Sony has to do to get my money is to promise not to unleash maggots into my home and I'll welcome them with open arms.

It's good to know that Microsoft is paying attention to our privacy concerns, at least, but I'm not entirely convinced. Privacy settings are all well and good... but maybe keep a spare cloth around to cover the sensors when you don't need them. Just in case.

I'm just gonna go ahead and not buy one unless they allow me to play without the Kinect.

Holythirteen:

And lets not forget this little tidbit.

For exactly this reason. What happens if I'm playing the game and have a couple of mates over to show them. Let's assume MS allows for three people to be in the room to be able to play the game. What happens if my roommate that wasn't in the room earlier has to pass behind the couch to get from her room to the kitchen (which she has to do, there's only one entrance) and wants to stop and have a chat or have a bit of a watch too? Now there's four people in the room and the Kinect decides I haven't given its MS overlords enough money and it shuts down the game, killing the mood and causing trouble when someone has to be made to leave the room in order to continue playing.

This is honestly a disgusting scenario if you ask me. Games have become a more and more social outlet in the last few years. Not only is it gonna make games move backwards several years by limiting the amount of people that can socialize over a game in one room at any time, it's outright a loss of free advertisement because the more people that get to see a game in action, the more they may be willing to buy it for themselves.

MrWunderful:
I Don't understand how the system will require kinect to be plugged in to operate, yet it can be turned off? Or maybe he was just referring to the system itself? Interested to see where this goes, as I am still looking forward to this console.

He was referring to the system itself, yes. He means you can unplug the console at the AC adapter and cut off all power to the entire system. Console and all. Have fun crawling in and out of the dusty behind of your TV unit whenever you want to play your XBone but don't want to have a high-tech spy camera recording every moment 24/7.

Other sites understand that the console itself can be turned off, but not the Kinect independently.

So if you end up with an xbone, you still may want to put the Kinect in a dark closet, covered with a black thick sheet, sprayed with sound-proof foam.

Until someone figures out how to jailbreak the thing so it won't use Kinect at all. And not check daily whether you didn't sell your games.

Okay, that's good to know. I'm still not buying it.

Yeah, I'm not trusting it without the plug pulled.

Like everything else in this entire fiasco they haven't bothered getting their stories straight yet.

Sgt. Sykes:
Other sites understand that the console itself can be turned off, but not the Kinect independently.

So if you end up with an xbone, you still may want to put the Kinect in a dark closet, covered with a black thick sheet, sprayed with sound-proof foam.

Until someone figures out how to jailbreak the thing so it won't use Kinect at all. And not check daily whether you didn't sell your games.

The Xbone is really looking good is it not? What other consoles spy on you? This is a world first!

At first I thought, "Oh, good, Microsoft is making a positive announcement," but, actually, I'm still confused. So, you can turn the Kinect off completely, but Kinect is still required in order to play games? Does that mean I can only turn the Kinect completely off when the system is off, but that it's mandatory to turn it on when I actually want to do anything with it?

You know, Microsoft, you really shouldn't have advertised this as a feature until E3 when you'd have time to explain how it works.

Wait so their big clarification is you can unplug the xbox one? Boy all my privacy concerns are gone now.

I think the important question is... can I play it in the nude without concern that someone can see my wang through it?

I ask not for my own sake, but because I do not like making other men jealous and giving the ladies false hope.

badgersprite:
At first I thought, "Oh, good, Microsoft is making a positive announcement," but, actually, I'm still confused. So, you can turn the Kinect off completely, but Kinect is still required in order to play games? Does that mean I can only turn the Kinect completely off when the system is off, but that it's mandatory to turn it on when I actually want to do anything with it?

You know, Microsoft, you really shouldn't have advertised this as a feature until E3 when you'd have time to explain how it works.

I agree. Not releasing specific details to a bunch of rabid gamers looking for a reason to hate everything you do is only going to complicate things. Its just going to spawn "conspiracy theories" about big brother recording your every movement 24/7 *rolls eyes* and conjecture based on filed patents. Its a shame, because I really want this console to succeed- my non "gamer" friends are all going to buy one im sure and some of my fondest memories are playing call of duty with them.

Isn't it hilariously paradoxical that we're expected to be grateful about something like this?

It's like there's a long "retard checklist" for anything new that enters the game industry and the majority of the "positive" features involve listing ways it WON'T piss you off.

> It WON'T be always-online! (half truth)
> It WILL let you play used games! (for a fee)
> You can control your TV with it! (region specific)
> Kinect can be turned off!

Oh boy Microsoft, all those features are getting me so hyped! /sarcasm

Christ, these are fucking funny times we live in...in a tragic kind of way...

Cognimancer:
"It is not always watching or always listening," the spokesperson explains. "You can turn the system completely off. This would use no power and turn everything off. We'll share more details about how it all works later."

Why can't you share them now? It can't take more than 2 minutes to explain such a simple function...right? Oh, just unplug it? Well...that defeats the purpose of the damn console now, doesn't it?

A piece of hardware that requires daily phone home to function has no place in my house. Of course the even without that the subscription fee to play multiplayer, and the advertising on the intro page would also prevent it from entering my house.

"It is not always watching or always listening," the spokesperson explains. "You can turn the system completely off. This would use no power and turn everything off. We'll share more details about how it all works later."

What sort of "details" is Microsoft planning to reveal about turning off the XBOne? How is that something we need details about? What can they possibly be hiding about turning off the console, for god's sake?

roushutsu:

Why can't you share them now? It can't take more than 2 minutes to explain such a simple function...right? Oh, just unplug it? Well...that defeats the purpose of the damn console now, doesn't it?

Im starting to believe its all part of the plan. "Lets whip all these keyboard critics into a tizzy then make them all look stupid. Sure we might loose a couple of sales to some eliteists, but we will sell many, many, more to a bunch of other people!"

Not the way I would have done it, but then again I am not head of marketing for a multi-billion dollar company.

Cognimancer:
"You can turn the system completely off. This would use no power and turn everything off. We'll share more details about how it all works later."

Welcome to the future, where we need in-depth and detailed technical explanations about turning things off.

I guess standby mode is day one DLC? It's a little scary that we need an official statement on how to turn the system off. Definitely doesn't ease my concerns about it always watching.

Of course you can turn it off. You can turn it off at the power. By unplugging it, presumably.

What we're talking about - the traditional "off" - is actually stand-by. Will the Kinect be watching and listening when, for example, the Xbox is downloading content in its semi-asleep, semi-off mode? Cos I'm not interested, that being the case, in outright powering down the whole thing, am I?

Turn the system off.....so it's not even on standby mode?

So, Microsoft, why did you not say this earlier?

It would have knee-capped one of the big talking points that reduced the announcement to the unmitigated disaster that it became. Speed in an element of success.

Also, this still doesn't clarify why I NEED Kinect to have an Xbox One. You've got a hell of an E3 ahead of you, Microsoft.

Still doesn't address the fact Kinect will be required for games, users will still have to put up with shoddy crammed in features which judging by the state of motion controls and voice commands will be unreliable and slow. Anyone without space for the Kinect are still out of luck.

Microsoft, you're not making any damn sense. Frankly you just can't make up your fucking mind about this thing, and if I buy it I'm concerned that when I try to play a game it'll explode.

What? The article doesn't say that I can turn the Kinect off separately, it says that I can turn my entire system off, which - surprise surprise - I can do, right now with my 360 as I type this post, just by extending my left arm and pressing the fucking power button.

I don't want the piece of shit (which my Marine friend seems to have quite the difficult time understanding). At least let me not have to use it if I must physically have it.

What the fuck, Microsoft. Again, all you had to do was maybe take a whole 5 minutes to dispel some of the more damning rumors, and instead you kick almost your entire consumer base - the ones who could give all manners of fucks less about CoD at least - in the crotch and tell them to fuck off.

Good news and all but... Why the hell didn't they say anything sooner!?

Wtf PR?

Wow. I don't know who looks worse. Group X for complaining about the always-on or group Y for saying "Nothing has an off button these days!"

Still doesn't invalidate my concerns about their promises that the video stream is "always available" to code running on the box. Because the exact same thing happens on my computoh wait (unplugs USB webcam).

And we knew how many freakin' transistors it had within half an hour but it took a whole week for them to mention a power button. 'Cause when I buy a house I want to know how many 2x4s were used, but the fact that no light switch is in the room where its light is is secondary.

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