PDP selling Xbox One Kinect TV mount with 'privacy cover'

Microsoft has stated a number of times that the Kinect sensor included with its upcoming Xbox One console can be turned off completely and that the company will not using collecting information about people who own the console from the device. However, there are always going to be people who are paranoid about having a camera in their living room.

Today, a company called PDP started taking pre-orders for an Xbox One Kinect TV mount.  The main use of the product, which is due for release December 4th for $19.99, is to let Xbox One owners connect their Kinect add-on to a television instead of having it sit on a table or TV cabinet.

However, PDP has also thrown in a "privacy cover" which it says has been made to block the view of view of "both the RGB and IR cameras" on the Kinect. This cover has obviously been made with the purpose of catering to potential Xbox One owners who still want to buy the console but also think they need to keep the Kinect sensors shrouded when not in use. Microsoft is scheduled to launch the Xbox One in 13 markets on November 22nd.

Source: Amazon via Polygon | Image via PDP

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62 Comments

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i hope the people that buy this dont have a smartphone, or access the internet, or put rubbish in the dustbin, or go outside......

Its funny people get so worked up over this when they already have webcams on your laptop, tvs, and cell phones. (All of which are probably easier to hack than your Xbox) Even some of the new Droid phones are "always listening" for commands as well and people have them with them everywhere they go.

But the world would end if someone was watching me play Skyrim on my couch.

Why not just use an extra piece of tinfoil from your hat to cover the camera?

Of ALL companies to be worried about, Microsoft is the only tech giant that is fighting for user privacy rights. In both products and in legal protections. When Google lobbies for removing user privacy in the USA, it is Microsoft on the other side pushing back against them.

Key question is whether it mounts on back-curved TVs as I already spent £35 on the Kinect mounting kit but I was surprised to find out that it does not mount on my Samsung TV.

Riva said,
Key question is whether it mounts on back-curved TVs as I already spent £35 on the Kinect mounting kit but I was surprised to find out that it does not mount on my Samsung TV.

If your TV has a standard wall mount in the back wait for the mounts that allow you to use that. The original Kinect had a mount that allowed you to use the VESA mount in the back as a means to connect it to the TV.

shinji257 said,

If your TV has a standard wall mount in the back wait for the mounts that allow you to use that. The original Kinect had a mount that allowed you to use the VESA mount in the back as a means to connect it to the TV.

Does that mean the new Kinect has a different mount and won't work with ones for the 360 Kinect? I've yet to be able to find an answer to that.

Not really, when Microsoft have given the NSA access to Outlook.com, SkyDrive, and Skype i can see why some people might feel uneasy with an always on, internet connected camera / mic in the living room looking at them...

Personally it didn't bother me until this whole NSA thing, I have nothing to hide. However it doesn't mean that idea appeals to me.

link6155 said,
I think people have gone too far with the whole privacy issue thing

"I think companies have gone too far with the whole privacy issue thing" - There; fixed it for you!

InsaneNutter said,
Not really, when Microsoft have given the NSA access to Outlook.com, SkyDrive, and Skype i can see why some people might feel uneasy with an always on, internet connected camera / mic in the living room looking at them...

Rumors and conspiracy theories != facts.

Well, I mean that the NSA doesn't give a crap about what you do at home when no one is watching, especially when there's millions and millions of people. I've walked around and even heard people say "Dn't say that to siri! The NSA will report me!!!!". People don't even know what the whole privacy issue really is.

If you want privacy, don't use the internet.

InsaneNutter said,
Not really, when Microsoft have given the NSA access to Outlook.com, SkyDrive, and Skype i can see why some people might feel uneasy with an always on, internet connected camera / mic in the living room looking at them...

Personally it didn't bother me until this whole NSA thing, I have nothing to hide. However it doesn't mean that idea appeals to me.

Yet Microsoft did NOT give the NSA access.

The only NSA access is by network monitoring, which includes EVERYTHING on the internet and only gets up to the servers as data is transferred. Data sitting on servers or behind a workstation (like the Kinect is) is not open to the NSA.

This is in contrast to ANY *nix based system/server where the NSA has established backdoors and low level access via the OS's simplistic I/O model. And yes this DOES include Android phones and even iOS devices.

Mobius Enigma said,

Yet Microsoft did NOT give the NSA access.

Ok helped them intercept communications then.

"Microsoft has collaborated closely with US intelligence services to allow users communications to be intercepted, including helping the National Security Agency to circumvent the company's own encryption, according to top-secret documents obtained by the Guardian."

Source: http://www.theguardian.com/wor...nsa-collaboration-user-data

I'm simply saying why people might be concerned, i can imagine the next gen Xbox will be of interest to the NSA.

Mobius Enigma said,

Yet Microsoft did NOT give the NSA access.

The only NSA access is by network monitoring, which includes EVERYTHING on the internet and only gets up to the servers as data is transferred. Data sitting on servers or behind a workstation (like the Kinect is) is not open to the NSA.

This is in contrast to ANY *nix based system/server where the NSA has established backdoors and low level access via the OS's simplistic I/O model. And yes this DOES include Android phones and even iOS devices.

Do you have a source on your claim?

InsaneNutter said,

Ok helped them intercept communications then.

"Microsoft has collaborated closely with US intelligence services to allow users communications to be intercepted, including helping the National Security Agency to circumvent the company's own encryption, according to top-secret documents obtained by the Guardian."

Source: http://www.theguardian.com/wor...nsa-collaboration-user-data

I'm simply saying why people might be concerned, i can imagine the next gen Xbox will be of interest to the NSA.

I wouldn't trust The Guardian. Keep in mind that the report came via Snowden and can we really trust the guy yet? Yes he is a whistleblower and it may be credible but does anyone know for sure?

shinji257 said,

I wouldn't trust The Guardian. Keep in mind that the report came via Snowden and can we really trust the guy yet? Yes he is a whistleblower and it may be credible but does anyone know for sure?

Very true, no one knows for sure either way. Before all this blew up I normally wouldn't give it the time of day, however it does make you question it. If you think the PSN and all these other websites / services which have been exploited by anonymous, its not that ludicrous to imagine what the NSA could do with manpower, money and government backing.

Mobius Enigma said,
This is in contrast to ANY *nix based system/server where the NSA has established backdoors and low level access via the OS's simplistic I/O model. And yes this DOES include Android phones and even iOS devices.

Saw this on Ars or somewhere reputable.
Happy you brought this to Neowin!

How is a software update going to move the physical location of the camera so that the cover doesn't cover it anymore?

Methinks you didn't read the article.

FloatingFatMan said,
How is a software update going to move the physical location of the camera so that the cover doesn't cover it anymore?

Methinks you didn't read the article.

It isn't but they can add code to stop the console working if it detects something directly in front of (covering) its sensors. I don't think Microsoft would do such a thing but they could if they wanted.

FloatingFatMan said,
How is a software update going to move the physical location of the camera so that the cover doesn't cover it anymore?

Methinks you didn't read the article.

He obviously means the update that adds a mechanical arm or windscreen wiper, duh!

FloatingFatMan said,
That would kind of negate their claim that it doesn't even need to be connected for the XB1 to function.

Again, an update to the code can force it to be required before the console will boot.

It's obvious that the update would activate the camera's X-ray mode, so any eye-patch would be useless. Get some lead underwear boys!

exotoxic said,

Again, an update to the code can force it to be required before the console will boot.

Are you even reading the stupid you're typing? Microsoft have clearly stated that the Kinect 2 sensor DOES NOT HAVE TO BE CONNECTED to the Xbox One for the console to function. To then issue an update that requires it to be able to see something would completely negate that statement.

FloatingFatMan said,

Are you even reading the stupid you're typing? Microsoft have clearly stated that the Kinect 2 sensor DOES NOT HAVE TO BE CONNECTED to the Xbox One for the console to function. To then issue an update that requires it to be able to see something would completely negate that statement.

Microsoft only removed the kinect requirement AFTER privacy issues were raised. I did not say they would add the requirement back only that they COULD, example if a government says they need to do it then they have no choice but to comply. Like i said i don't think they will but Its not like Microsoft don't have a record of U turns and policy changes.

Incorrect. People made lots of assumptions before Microsoft had made ANY announcements regarding the so called privacy concerns. No one outside of those at Microsoft directly involved with the XB1 actually knows whether they changed it or not.

It's nothing but an assumption and we all know what they say about assuming things.

FloatingFatMan said,
That would kind of negate their claim that it doesn't even need to be connected for the XB1 to function.

That claim was made AFTER the public outcry from people who this product will exploit. See the first comment.

deadonthefloor said,

That claim was made AFTER the public outcry from people who this product will exploit. See the first comment.

So? It doesn't make it any less of an assumption. Haters gonna hate.

Spicoli said,
Remember when laptops and web cams had these?

They still do. I still see people putting tape on their cameras and wondering why they can't Skype lol.

Spicoli said,
Remember when laptops and web cams had these?

Yes, but not on built in ones for computers.

Is this why LG G2 has a slider?

Jason Stillion said,

I trust the rent to own places about as far as I can throw them. I used to work in a computer support group (phone based) and we found a large number of issues with computers acquired this way including having infections on them the day they were brought home.

Also many of them refused to provide discs when asked.

I'm just going to use electrical tape. Don't want big brother looking at me while I read how 9/11 was an inside job despite the obvious evidence that exists to prove otherwise.

Max Norris said,
Tin foil hat is far cheaper, and can be hung in front of the camera as well... that hat has so many uses.

Trust in Microsoft is even cheaper but seems so elusive, wonder why that is...

Order_66 said,

Trust in Microsoft is even cheaper but seems so elusive, wonder why that is...

because Microsoft's promises are cheap by default ?

Max Norris said,
Tin foil hat is far cheaper, and can be hung in front of the camera as well... that hat has so many uses.

With all due respect, Norris, I feel that you are mistaking genuine concern with conspiracy theories.

However, if some are so concerned about privacy, it is comforting to know that Kinect is not mandatory.