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Microsoft Kinect Ads Can Watch You While You Watch Them

November 23, 2012 | Telepresence Options

Microsoft-Kinect-ads-can-watch-you-while-you-watch-them-300x141.jpgNetwork World - by Ms. Smith

Do you watch commercials or do use that timeslot to run to the restroom or to the kitchen? Do you fast-forward to skip as many commercials as possible when watching TV via a DVR or On Demand? Microsoft's new Kinect-powered interactive commercials, called NUads for Natural User Interface Adverstisements, have the potential to change all that.

According to CNET's Declan McCullagh, Microsoft manager Lyn Watts stated that advertisers can "go after the holy grail - the living room" with Kinect Nuads. Whether you like the idea of TV ads watching while you watch the advertisement or not, Microsoft's Kinect interactive NUads will "begin rolling out in late spring."

��� "How many people are in the living room? Are they taking any action based on the advertising they just saw?" Watts said. "Can we watch the customers' reaction, and if we can, do we have the capability of showing a different ad, or the same ad, depending on what the reaction was?"

The Kinect privacy policy states, "Kinect can record speech data, photos and videos" and "collects and uses body recognition data." But Microsoft told CNET, "With respect to privacy, Xbox 360 and Xbox Live do not use any information captured by Kinect for advertising targeting purposes and NUads is no exception."

Indeed, Microsoft clarified in a follow-up statement emailed to Network World that the company has not announced plans for Xbox 360 or Xbox Live to use information capturted by Kinect for advertising targeting purposes. A spokesperson reiterated that "Microsoft has strict policies in place that prohibit the collection, storage or use of Kinect data for the purpose of advertising," and that the presentation was meant to discuss the potential for consumer-interacted advertisements, in which a user may request retail information from the Xbox and would receive advertisements in response.

"To be clear, the presentation at the PII conference did not announce targeted advertising features. The focus of the presentation was the future of advertising and the potential privacy issues managers at other companies must consider as technologies such as Kinect transform the industry," the Microsoft spokesperson said.

Still, Eurogamer pointed out Watt's statements about "how NUads may tailor advertising using data gathered by Kinect" contradict Microsoft's statement about privacy.

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