But.... This is pretty easy to circumvent if you are concerned. Throw a small towel or something over the top if you are not using the system. End of story. Not sure what to do about the microphone though.... Maybe just turn of the console.
With 24 million units sold to date, Microsoft Corp.’s Kinect for Xbox 360 is without any doubts one of the most successful add-on hardware for video game consoles. It is also not a secret that the Xbox Next system will be equipped with a much more advanced Kinect motion sensor. What is somewhat surprising is that the next-generation game console from Microsoft will actually require turned on Kinect to function.
As it appears, the mandatory Kinect version 2 accessory will ship with every Microsoft Xbox code-named “Durango” game console. Moreover, it must be plugged in and calibrated for the console to even function, reports Kotaku web-site. The new sensor will always “watch” around and recognize different users to provide them the relevant games, entertainment features and whatever else the Xbox Next will have of offer.
The new Kinect v2 sensor is expected to support improved depth sensor, full-HD RGB camera as well as enhanced motion-sensing technology that tracks more than 48 points of movement on the human body and/or at over 30 frames per second (which is crucial for smooth movements in action games). The new version of Kinect will track up to four gamers at once and will even feature infrared camera with 512*424 resolution.
Since every Xbox Next will feature mandatory Kinect v2 sensor, Microsoft hopes that game developers will more actively develop titles that will rely on motion sensing.
In case the Kinect sensor with camera will always be on, it remains to be seen how this will affect privacy of the owners and whether the console will actually intrude private life of its owner or owners.
Microsoft did not comment on the news-story.