Fear not, privacy lovers; the new version of Kinect that was demoed by Microsoft during its Xbox One event last week can be powered off. This was confirmed by a Microsoft representative when speaking with Kotaku.
"Yes, you can turn the system completely off," the Microsoft spokesperson said. "This would use no power and turn everything off. ... We are designing the new Kinect with simple, easy methods to customize privacy settings, provide clear notifications and meaningful privacy choices for how data will be used, stored and shared.
"We know our customers want and expect strong privacy protections to be built into our products, devices and services and for companies to be responsible stewards of their data. Microsoft has more than 10 years of experience making privacy a top priority. Kinect for Xbox 360 was designed and built with strong privacy protections in place, and the new Kinect will continue this commitment. We’ll share more details later."
This development seems to close the book on one concern that the gaming world had regarding Kinect, with many considering it an all-seeing eye that could snoop on the homes and lives of the people around it. However, that hardly means that Xbox One-related controversy is over, with always-on, used games and other issues currently unresolved. While we have yet to hear any concrete information regarding other Xbox One questions including used games and always-on, E3 is two weeks away, so perhaps we'll get some answers then.
What do you think of the new Kinect? Are you relieved that it can be powered off? Were you concerned that the device would snoop on you unsuspectingly? Was this a significant issue for you at all? What other concerns do you want Microsoft to address? Sound off in the comments below.