News about the Xbox One continues to get bleaker and bleaker for Microsoft. After a devastating E3, where Microsoft was nearly booed off stage and enjoyed a lackluster reception from angry techies, recent patent news suggests that Microsoft could unveil a technology that monitors how many people are in the room at a certain time and charges more for movies and other content based on the number of people in the room.

It sounds like something that would be unveiled in Nazi-era Germany or 1984. But it’s a real-life patent that was recently filed by Microsoft. That patent indicates that Kinect could count the number of viewers watching or playing a certain piece of content and then allow the content supplier to charge a fee per person for that content.

That patent was discovered by ExtremeTech and can be found here. Specifically, the patent states that:

“The users consuming the content on a display device are monitored so that if the number of user-views licensed is exceeded, remedial action may be taken.”


In case you think the patent is taken out of context, here’s a more detailed description of its nuances:

“…a license validation is performed by comparing the user count and any view or performance limitation against that allowed by the license. If the license is satisfied, the content presentation begins…if not…the user is presented with an option to adjust the license terms.”

If the user doesn’t accept the new license terms, the presentation is halted.

Why it’s the worst idea ever

Just think of the possibilities for technology like this:

-You sit down to watch a movie with three of your friends. A fourth friend walks into the room carrying a bowl of popcorn and Kinect stops the movie and requests another $5 payment to continue

-You’re playing a 4 player racing game on Xbox One and two more friends walk into the room and begin swapping out controllers with the losers of each race. Xbox One pauses gameplay until there are only four players in the room.

-You purchase an individual game license for yourself for Call of Duty 16: Return to World War II. Your friend comes over to your house and you hand the controller to him. Kinect spots the controller transfer and automatically dispenses poisonous gas into the room, killing everyone inside.

Guess it’s time to learn how to disguise yourself as a piece of furniture, Xbox One fans!



If Microsoft puts this patent into action, then the Xbox One will truly be the best example of a company shooting itself in the foot multiple times.

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