A freshly unearthed Microsoft patent entitled ‘Content Distribution Regulation by Viewing User’ will likely not appeal to fans of 1984.
The idea is that Kinect (or any compatible camera source) will effectively observe users viewing content they have acquired and ensure that they are complying with the license. Breaches of the license could include youngsters watching mature-rated content or too many people watching a film licensed for personal use.
Kinect would then disrupt the content until the rules are adhered to or an appropriate alternative licence is purchased.
Of course, Kinect users could likely overcome such issues by simply unplugging the peripheral. But this won’t be so easy with devices using embedded cameras.
Of course, the likelihood is that such a technology could never become truly established as consumers could easily opt for a rival service that doesn’t spy on them like Big Brother.