Microsoft's own ads are switching on Xbox One consoles (again)

Back in November, you may recall a video captured by Neowin's Tim Kimberl, showing how a TV advertisement for the Xbox One switched on his console, as its Kinect voice recognition mistook the ad for a genuine command. The ad had included someone speaking a command to their console, saying "Xbox, On", which Tim's own console picked up and acted on accordingly. 

With the launch of a new ad featuring Breaking Bad actor Aaron Paul, more users have once again reported similar behaviour on their consoles, as BBC News reports. The ad includes Paul saying "Xbox, On" to his console, and users have taken to social networks to describe how their own Xbox Ones have reacted to that command. 

Many of the comments across Twitter are from users who appear more amused and surprised by the behaviour of their consoles, rather than genuinely angry, but the patience of some may wear thin if their Xbox Ones continue to react in this way to the ads. Users affected by this can of course turn off the Kinect sensor, although that rather defeats the point of having it in the first place. 

Earlier this week, Microsoft began selling the Xbox One without Kinect, allowing it to bring the console down to a new lower price. The ad featuring Aaron Paul promotes this Kinect-free lower price, despite his use of the sensor and voice interaction features throughout the commercial, although it does state that Kinect is "sold separately". 

Kinect took a back seat at Microsoft's E3 2014 presentation, leading some to suggest that the company is now re-evaluating its strategy for the motion tracking and voice interaction sensor. 

Source: BBC News | images via Microsoft

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45 Comments

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Why not just make it so you press a button on the controller or a remote control to turn the thing on / off. Be quicker pressing a button than saying Xbox on, Xbox off.. right?

To be honest if your not running your TV through the Xbox one anyway your missing out on alot of cool stuff it can do. If they had an Xbox one and were watching TV it should have been on anyway and you should be watching TV through it.

If your not using Kinect or the TV in features your better off with a PS4, I love my Xbox one and would always run TV through it, kinect + voice command remote control + smart glass = amazing home entertainment experience.

I run my cable through my Xbox, so I never have that issue (its already on!). Also notice that it doesn't respond at all to the TV saying "Xbox". Surprised more people don't make use of the HDMI pass-through. Its quite handy.

It's also because the Xbox One is smart enough to ignore commands when it is coming out of it's own system via HDMI pass through.

I find it very humorous that people b&m about Kinect not working right, not recognizing their voice, not accepting commands, now they are b&m'ing about Kinect easily recognizing these commands from the TV ads...

Well something or somebody has to switch these atom laptop based xbone console on, cause no one in their right mind would want too! :-)

/S

As much as I love my Xbox One, I believe that this is just a marketing stunt from MS to get the Xbox One back in the news, even if for just a few cycles with a funny story. I mean, come on, THEY know that this commercial would turn on systems...

Ugh, and I thought the Americans were champions at beeping out 'offensive' words ;-)
A simple partial beep during "XBOX on" would be enough, right?

Wait wait wait...

THEIR ads will turn on an Xbox on the fly, but I have to repeat 'Xbox On' three or four times each time I want it to work?

If the Xbox worked with my commands as easily it appears to work with the commercial's, well, I wouldn't be posting right now.

The nearest speaker is above the Kinect sensor. Moreover, it's shooting sound away from it. When I am standing in front of my Xbox, be it 2 feet or 10 feet, with the TV off, frequently it takes several attempts of Xbox On to work.

Other commands, like Mute and Turn Off, work almost 100% of the time, even if I'm across the room with the TV blaring.

It's a technicality with the sensor and the Xbox, I know. Frustrating, though.

Idea: Update the xbox firmware, and use a certain audio frequency that is inaudible to humans (and don't send animals crazy) not commonly used in the household, and play that on the back of ads
The xbox, if hearing that frequency, will either, not take the command, or shut off the console as it is aware of the situation (Being turned on by a TV ad)

Correct. I have my Xbox only going "out" to my television. I do not have my cable box going "in". It's a feature I personally do not need. My Xbox is for gaming only.

I didn't originally, but then when I configured the Xbox to turn on my AV amp and the TV when it switches on I moved my Sky box to the In port and it makes life so much easier. I don't have to use 3 remotes to turn everything on and switch sources on the TV :)

JHBrown said,
Correct. I have my Xbox only going "out" to my television. I do not have my cable box going "in". It's a feature I personally do not need. My Xbox is for gaming only.

Exactly how I would have it setup also, if I had an Xbox! :x

I can just picture how many people this might be p***ing off! :)

JHBrown said,
Correct. I have my Xbox only going "out" to my television. I do not have my cable box going "in". It's a feature I personally do not need. My Xbox is for gaming only.

Using the word 'need' here isn't needed. Its a feature that you might want but never need, mush like you don't 'need' a games console in the first place.

Not saying this just to be pedantic, I mean it like just because its a gaming console doesn't mean you cant benefit from the fast switching between tv/games/apps all on the same av input and also use the one guide. But un no way would anyone suggest that its 'needed'.

cork1958 said,

Exactly how I would have it setup also, if I had an Xbox! :x

I can just picture how many people this might be p***ing off! :)

So you don't have an Xbox, it apparently makes you puke... and you wouldn't use a feature that only brings you extra features if you have one.

You do realize trolling is against the rules. If all you can post is a troll or trollbait, then it may be better to just not post.

I like the feature. Makes your life a hell of a lot easier when you have an infant or toddler running around. can change the channel with your voice while doing something else.

Now hopefully Microsoft can make the new insteon app an exbox one app also with Kinect functionality.

HawkMan said,

So you don't have an Xbox, it apparently makes you puke... and you wouldn't use a feature that only brings you extra features if you have one.

You do realize trolling is against the rules. If all you can post is a troll or trollbait, then it may be better to just not post.

You may be new to the internet but his comment was not trolling. People that post something you do not agree with are not trolls. Look up the definition of troll or trolling...That insult gets thrown around this site so frequently and is so misused its ridiculous.

dave164 said,
I don't have to use 3 remotes to turn everything on
Me neither thanks to HDMI-CEC, when I turn on a device, my amp and TV automatically turn on and tune to the correct input.

hang on, if they are watching the TV.....surely the xbox one is already on?

That's one of it's selling points isn't it, TV integration

JHBrown said,
Nope, not everyone uses that function.

Only for people with an external tuner (cable/satellite box or terrestrial box with HDMI output).

That said some with external box don't use it, each to their own but I prefer it especially now that the guide is available in UK and smart glass has loads more guide functionality.

glen8 said,
hang on, if they are watching the TV.....surely the xbox one is already on?

That's one of it's selling points isn't it, TV integration


All TVs here in Finland (and most of Europe) use TV aerial plugs (for both antenna and cable). Since Xbox One doesn't have that port it's useless for the TV integration.

Sigh... no it doesn't. Only if you don't understand how it's supposed to work. You use it with external tuners, like for satellite, cable or terrestrial like boxer and such, or even Telia iptv.

HawkMan said,
Sigh... no it doesn't. Only if you don't understand how it's supposed to work. You use it with external tuners, like for satellite, cable or terrestrial like boxer and such, or even Telia iptv.

Thing is that almost none use tuners nowadays as they're built into the TVs. If I want to get more (premium) channels: I get a Conax card and insert it into the TV to get those channels.
I don't really know anyone with a tuner box (except for digital -> analogue boxes for old tvs).

I might be wrong though, just what I've noticed around friends and acquaintances.

I would use the one guide, but living in the UK where freeview is built directly into the TV and no HDMI out from the TV makes it impossible unless I buy a standalone freeview receiver.

Roberticus said,

Thing is that almost none use tuners nowadays as they're built into the TVs. If I want to get more (premium) channels: I get a Conax card and insert it into the TV to get those channels.
I don't really know anyone with a tuner box (except for digital -> analogue boxes for old tvs).

I might be wrong though, just what I've noticed around friends and acquaintances.

lots of people use tuners still, especially on satellite and cable where tuners allow recording multiple channels or viewing another channels while you record. or new systems like canal digital cables we-tv with 8 tuners and lots of internet features.

even the terrestrial service here has more channels than they have bandwidth for so they are starting to have internet only channels you need their tuners to see.

such a hardship, the console being turned on! Oh noes!!!

I bet a lot of people didn't even know it did this, and now they do the ad wont air for long but its shown them how to turn on their xbox via voice (not many but some anyway), for others they just follow up with "xbox turn off" and be done with it.

Depending on how you have things connected and configured, turning the Xbox on could cause the TV's source to automatically switch to that device.

I have a similar issue with my setup, it is nice to never have to worry about setting an input source, that is fully automated. But, if I ever need to eject a BluRay, the BluRay steals the TV's focus while it is on, annoying.

For me it is not a huge deal, but if it happened every time an ad played, I would hate that.

Hmm...

Oddly enough, my Xbox One doesn't turn on using the Xbox On command at all. Unless I'm within about 3 inches from Kinect itself. Even then it only works like 1 times out of 15-20 tries.

I wish mine was this responsive.

There's a huge thread on the Xbox community forums about this issue and it has yet to be resolved even after multiple software updates. It usually has to do with rooms that have hard wood floors.

What's even more odd is that once the Xbox is powered on, it processes voice commands flawlessly.