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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."

7 Comments

Sam Brown Programmer, Cool Games Ltd.

235 164 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:2 years ago

#1

Jim Webb Executive Editor/Community Director, E-mpire Ltd. Co.

2,283 2,491 1.1
Popular Comment
I nominate this as the creepiest 1984 patent application of 2012.

Posted:2 years ago

#2

Sam Brown Programmer, Cool Games Ltd.

235 164 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:2 years ago

#3

Fran Mulhern , Recruit3D

863 707 0.8
Jeez. Horrible, horrible, horrible.

Posted:2 years ago

#4

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:2 years ago

#5

Jim Webb Executive Editor/Community Director, E-mpire Ltd. Co.

2,283 2,491 1.1
"Xbox, play movie."

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

Posted:2 years ago

#6
Unplug the Kinect? Unless it comes with and is required with the next console? Surely even Microsoft wouldn't be so silly?

Posted:2 years ago

#7

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