With a much more extensive focus on other aspects of entertainment besides just gaming, especially television integration, Microsoft is looking for ways to encourage viewership of not just shows, but also ads. Taking a page from GetGlue, they've applied for a patent on TV achievements, offering Gamerscore points (or TVscore points?) to viewers.
"Television viewing tends to be a passive experience for a viewer, without many opportunities for the viewer to engage or have interactive experiences with the presented content," the application states. "To increase interactive viewing and encourage a user to watch one or more particular items of video content, awards and achievements may be tied to those items of video content."
Rewards mentioned aside from a running point tally, like gamerscore, was new avatar clothing and props, virtual money for games, or even physical rewards.
A couple examples that were given were achievements for watching a big event like the Super Bowl, or watching every show from a series. Also mentioned was tying the Kinect into the system, where performing certain actions while watching a show could unlock achievements. The sensor could hold play of an ad until someone was in the room, or allow you to hold up a product to unlock a new badge or perhaps get some other reward from a sponsor.
For those that raise an eyebrow at mention of how the Kinect sensor will be used, it's also of note that Microsoft applied for a patent last year to use the Kinect as a visual DRM.
"The users consuming the content on a display device are monitored so that if the number of user-views licensed is exceeded, remedial action may be taken."
Not to say they will use it, businesses often apply for patents on things that don't make it to market, just so they own the patent on the idea. The ability is probably built into the Kinect on the XBox One though, so could be implemented down the road. Once the box is in millions of homes a simple user agreement you are forced to click 'Yes' to in order to use the machine and service you've spent your money on, would be all it takes. It could one day lead to something like controlling how many friends you can have over to watch a sports event.
It's a concern for those with a focus on privacy, with the XBox One Kinect's microphone always being on and the news the console won't fuction without the device hooked up, hearing the various ideas they have for monitoring users is... interesting, to say the least.
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About the Author - Jeremy Shane
Jeremy was born in a small mountain village of a strange foreign land called Weystvurginea. Banishment for liberal views saw him spend years wondering the east coast until he decided to bike to California. When he saw how long a trip it was, he drove instead. Now he's living it up in a low humidity climate, sometimes working on his photography and when not, he writes for us covering books (by way of his blog: Reading Realms), gaming, tv, movies, comics, conventions in the SoCal area, and creates a weekly webcomic: A Journey Through Skyrim. If you look for him offline, start in the L.A. area; online start at: www.jeremyshane.info for his profile and all the social networks he's on... or just follow him on twitter, he seems to be on there a lot: @jeremyshane.
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