Microsoft has calmed the Xbox One fires ablaze this weekend after an Ad Age story suggested that the new Kinect could be used to extract data for advertisers.
AdAge, reporting on a talk by Xbox chief marketing officer Yusuf Mehdi, penned a story with the headline “Xbox One’s Data Treasure Trove Could Reshape Marketing.”
Based on Mehdi’s quote below, the article hinted that the Kinect — which comes bundled in every Xbox One box — would eventually be used for market research due to the capability, for example, of seeing how users react to certain ads:
“We are trying to bridge some of the world between online and offline,” he said. “That’s a little bit of a holy grail in terms of how you understand the consumer in that 360 degrees of their life. We have a pretty unique position at Microsoft because of what we do with digital, as well as more and more with television because of Xbox. It’s early days, but we’re starting to put that together in more of a unifying way, and hopefully at some point we can start to offer that to advertisers broadly.”
Microsoft, though, denied those reports today, telling AllThingsD that AdAge did not correctly interpret Mehdi’s quote. The Redmond company said that his comments referred to content on second-screen companion platforms like SmartGlass —not Kinect.
Granted, there have been privacy concerns about the Kinect, especially since Microsoft originally required the camera to be plugged in for the Xbox One to function (the company reversed that policy in August).
But writing on a NeoGAF forum last week, Microsoft’s Director of Product Planning Albert Penello said that “nobody is working” on targeted advertising with the Xbox One.
“If something like that ever happened, you can be sure it wouldn’t happen without the user having control over it. Period,” Penello wrote.