Even though Microsoft Corp.’s Xbox TV is not yet available everywhere and is not used by everyone, with the next-generation Xbox console it will be possible to seamlessly integrate the service into the existing multimedia solution. As a result, it will be possible to control the HDTV using Kinect sensor and access Microsoft’s services when watching traditional TV shows streamed by cable operators.
Microsoft is working on a technology that lets its Xbox Next “Durango” console take over a TV and set-top box in a similar way to Google TV. The functionality will work by taking a cable box signal and passing it through to the Xbox via HDMI, allowing Microsoft's console to overlay a UI and features on top of an existing TV channel or set-top box, reports The Verge web-site. The feature will naturally require a connection to the Internet to offer what Microsoft will has in a particular case.
It is unclear whether Microsoft Xbox Next or Xbox Live TV services will analyze the content currently shown and then offer customers something relevant. However, it is said that comprehensive support for various cable services will be introduced progressively, but the basic functionality will be available at launch, yet it is unclear whether only in the U.S. or worldwide.
Thanks to Kinect integration, the system will be able to recognize the users and offer them content or service that is relevant to either a particular user or a group of users. Kinect version 2 sensor will also detect movements and will be able to pause playback when watchers leave the room, as expected earlier.
While the service clearly has a lot of advantages, it also means that it will regularly analyze behavior of users, which is barely good from the privacy point of view. Moreover, Microsoft’s services will most likely interfere with what operators will have to offer and it is unclear what the latter will have to say about this.
Microsoft did not comment on the news-story.