Neowin Lead Designer Timan25 showing a commercial interacting with his Xbox One
Microsoft has trumpeted the voice control capability of the Xbox One as it allows you to interact extensively with the console. With voice commands, you can do many things such as recording a short clip of your gameplay and saving it to the cloud by saying “Xbox, record that”. Another of the rather nifty commands is the ability to turn on your console by saying “Xbox On”.
But it seems there is a bit of a snag with this feature - and a rather amusing one, at that - because when Microsoft airs a commercial that says ‘Xbox On’, the ad is apparently turning on consoles in some consumers' homes.
In the clip above, at about the 55 second mark, the actor says ‘Xbox On’ and in the case of Neowin's lead designer (@Timan25), it turned on his console. Tim also stated that when watching this commercial, his console responded to "Xbox Show my Stuff". We tried to replicate the event using the same clip with one of our editors, but his console did not respond in the same way. But, when he used this clip featuring Ray Lewis, his Xbox One responded to “Xbox Snap TV”; that commercial can be viewed below.
Additionally, there are a few reports on Twitter from users claiming to have experienced the same issue (if you want to call it that), but it’s one of those odd quirks with using voice commands. But it's a quirk that appears to be causing a bit of confusion for some, with numerous reports on Twitter from users complaining that they have no idea why their Xbox One turned on.
My xbox turned on when the commercial came on...— Anthony Marinelli (@Its_Marinelli) November 25, 2013
While we have had inconsistent results when trying to use the commercial to voice-command our Xbox Ones, these observations do seem to suggest that Microsoft may have to be mindful of the speech it uses in its commercials as it could have the unintended affect of turning on millions of consoles while trying to pitch the product to other consumers.
One of the more odd scenarios that could play out, because of this ‘feature’, is if marketers catch wind of this, they could create clips that could control your console by using the voice controls to search bing and open their specific webpage. Of course, it would be quite sleazy for marketers to do this but, who knows, ethics and marketing has been a gray area for decades.
If you have an Xbox One, try out the commercials noted in this clip and let us know if you have similar results. We should note that the interaction between the commercial and your console does not always work - but at the very least, it is a fun little ‘feature’ to be aware of.