In a speech to the Association of National Advertisers Masters of Marketing Conference in Phoenix, Microsoft’s corporate VP of marketing and strategy, Yusuf Mehdi, talked about the Xbox One’s marketing potential.
We are trying to bridge some of the world between online and offline,” he said. “That’s a little bit of a holy grail in terms of how you understand the consumer in that 360 degrees of their life. We have a pretty unique position at Microsoft because of what we do with digital, as well as more and more with television because of Xbox. It’s early days, but we’re starting to put that together in more of a unifying way, and hopefully at some point we can start to offer that to advertisers broadly.”
Kinect brings with it a whole new world of opportunity for advertising companies since it’s claimed the device is capable of registering small facial movements, your pulse and whether or not you’re actually looking at the TV, allowing companies to gauge the watchers interest in what they’re being shown.
A marketer, who remains anonymous, said after the speech: “It could have a big impact on [advertising] pricing,” he said, thanks to the consoles ability to read your body language etc.
Of course such topics worry gamers and for good reason. We live in a world where you are constantly tracked and watched, and where your “private” details aren’t so privet. The idea of a camera watching you is unsettling enough, but one that sends date to advertisers as well is even more so.
The other day Microsoft’s Albert Penello stated that any facial data acquired by Kinect never leaves the console without your express permission, however. Penello also stated that Microsoft currently are not planning on following up any of this, which matches what was stated during Mehdi’s speech.
If you’re too worried you can always unplug the Kinect as well.
Perhaps the biggest concern, though, is that Microsoft could, at some point in the future, update their terms and conditions to allow data to be given to advertisers, given that most people don’t bother to read these.
Do remember that as of this moment in time all discussion regarding sending data to advertisers is purely speculative as Microsoft’s current public stance is that they are not following these lines of thought.