Some observers and potential consumers had expressed concern that stating ‘Xbox on’ to power on the device while in stand-by mode, means the console is listening for such commands all of the time.
Indeed if it can listen in for ‘Xbox On’ what else could it listen to, or even look for with its brand new 1080p 30fps camera sensors? Is it going to be monitoring our every move? And to what end?
Well, a report from Kotaku on Tuesday has allayed those Big Brother-esque fears, to some extent.
A Microsoft representative apparently told the site that Kinect “is not always watching or listening” and that it would absolutely be possible to power the console off completely.
Exactly what Microsoft means by this comment remains to be seen, but it appears, as SlashGear’s report pointed out, that there’ll be a difference between powering down the console and shutting it off completely.
A complete shut down would deactivate Kinect’s ability to listen for commands, while a power down, perhaps through the controller, would be a stand-by mode where Kinect is still active. More like a sleep mode on a PC or laptop, perhaps?
Microsoft stated that the new Kinect is being designed with “simple, easy methods to customise privacy settings, provide clear notifications and meaningful privacy choices on how data will be used stored and shared.”
From that it seems users will be able to switch off voice commands altogether if needs be.
The company may choose to clarify this issue during its E3 keynote in a couple of weeks.