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Microsoft applies for pay-per-viewer patent

Microsoft applies for pay-per-viewer patent

Tue 06 Nov 2012 5:55pm GMT / 12:55pm EST / 9:55am PST
Technology

Proposed tech would let consoles control how many people could watch each movie, or enforce age restrictions

The same technology that lets the Xbox 360 recognize users who step into the Kinect camera's field of view could also let Microsoft control who can play games or watch downloaded movies on everything from TVs to cell phones. As reported by Eurogamer, Microsoft has filed a patent application for "Content Distribution Regulation by Viewing User."

Originally filed in April 2011, the application describes a system where cameras on a TV, cell phone, or other display identify how many people are watching content on screen, and check to make sure that the user's license for that content covers that many viewers. If it doesn't, the game or movie in question could be halted and the user prompted to purchase more licenses before resuming. The system could also use recognition technology to identify specific users and permit or change access based on their profiles.

As the patent states, "Content is distributed to consuming devices, such as televisions, set-top boxes and digital displays, with an associated license option on the number of individual consumers or viewers allowed to consume the content. The limitation may comprise a number of user views, a number of user views over time, a number of simultaneous user views, views tied to user identities, views limited to user age or any variation or combination thereof, all tied to the number of actual content consumers allowed to view the content."

8 Comments

Tom Pickard
Lead Environment Artist - Campaign Map

308 382 1.2
What a horrible horrible idea... Oh you have 2 friends over!!! how dare you watch somthing you've paid for with your couple licence... one person will have to go out of the room please.

Posted:A year ago

#1

Sam Brown
Programmer

237 163 0.7
Hmmm, how long before the kids figure out they can just point the Kinect at a Barbie/Ken diorama and fool it into thinking that's it's just Mum and Dad watching Zombie Killer Sex Mutant 3? :)

Posted:A year ago

#2

Jim Webb
Executive Editor/Community Director

2,210 2,051 0.9
Popular Comment
I nominate this as the creepiest 1984 patent application of 2012.

Posted:A year ago

#3

Sam Brown
Programmer

237 163 0.7
@Jim: We can always hope that they're being altruistic - patenting it to prevent other people using it and have no intention of using it themselves. :)

Posted:A year ago

#4
Jeez. Horrible, horrible, horrible.

Posted:A year ago

#5

Simon Arnet

54 3 0.1
Soo you walk into a room and it goes, hey you! Or, you and a friend walk into a room and it goes hey you guys! Check out these awesome sneakers! Or pay an extra dollar because your friend wants to watch this show/movie? Wow, creepy!

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Simon Arnet on 7th November 2012 7:36pm

Posted:A year ago

#6

Jim Webb
Executive Editor/Community Director

2,210 2,051 0.9
"Xbox, play movie."

"I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that."

Posted:A year ago

#7
Unplug the Kinect? Unless it comes with and is required with the next console? Surely even Microsoft wouldn't be so silly?

Posted:A year ago

#8

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