The more the video game industry changes, one thing remains the same: there will always be third-party peripheral manufacturers who make a living selling questionable console add-ons to members of the public who may not know any better. Remember the ton of Wii Remote accessories that turned your controller into a plastic tennis racket or golf club? What about that inflatable boat for use with Kinect Adventures? Oh wait, you didn’t know that was a thing? Yeah, that was A THING.
We’re heading into a new console generation, and that means peripheral manufacturers get to try their luck once again. Enter company PDP: they’re selling a TV mount for Xbox One’s Kinect camera that features a “privacy cover”. All it is a moulded piece of plastic that you slide over the Kinect camera lens. Ta-da! You are now safe from the America government and diabolical advertisers harvesting your personal information to power their moon-based doomsday devices. Or whatever it is companies use personal information for.
It would all be well and good if Kinect was going to be spying on you, but nothing sells cheap pieces of rubbish quite like misinformation. Instead of spending money on something like this, you could always just unplug Kinect. That or use the numerous privacy settings baked into the console system.
As Albert Penello (Microsoft’s senior director of product planning) has said in the past:
“We also have a ton of privacy settings to allow people to turn off the camera, or microphones, or put it in a state just for ‘Xbox On’ and IR blasting — there will be a lot of user control for that… The thing we all understood, and hence this change, is that there are some scenarios where people just may not be comfortable. We wanted people to be 100 percent comfortable, so we allow the sensor to be unplugged.”
On the bright side, at least you get a useful Kinect mount.