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Xbox Live gamertags and profiles, for instance, ban “topics or content of a sexual nature.” (This policy led to mass bannings of subscribers who used the words “gay” and “lesbian” a few years ago, when Microsoft clarified the policy was not driven by an anti-gay agenda, but because a vast majority of users were using those words as insults.) The Nintendo Wii U took on dongs in a more direct manner, when their latest console allowed users to draw on the walls of Miiverse message boards: The company actually developed algorithms derived from popular, Western styles of penis sketch to detect and block phallic imagery.
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Once voice and gesture control, or the convenience of being signed in automatically by a camera, becomes a mundane thing, it becomes easier to slip in other things - maybe not for this generation, but for the one after it.
Adverts between shows for products mentioned by the characters, or maybe eventually adverts for products that you were talking about with your friends.
As increasingly capable technologies become more personal, we’re going to have to think less about what we can do, and more about what we shouldn’t do.
Whether it’s Kinect staring at our crotches, Amazon peeking into our buying habits, or Facebook leering at our social life, the technology industry will have to continually strike a design balance between the granular information they see and the information about ourselves that we see.
Microsoft’s XBox One launches on Friday, and it's quite good for illustrating the many ways in which we make slight changes to our expectations of privacy in exchange when we think the trade-off if worth it.
It's a cliche, but to illustrate this point, here's the advertising technology imagined for Twitch, the streaming platform that lets you broadcast your game as you play it so friends or others can watch, comes as default on the PS4 and will arrive on the XBox One in early 2014.
And when Microsoft’s new Xbox One comes out next month, every unit will be packaged with an improved Kinect, capable of 1080p Skype video and improved 3-D fidelity that, using an IR camera, can even make out your body in the dark.
With In fact, while I’d intended to post the above tech demo of the improved Kinect from Microsoft Research, I noticed, alongside the intricacies of a hoodie and jeans–and there’s no graceful way to put this–a dong.
From the ever-growing library of software to the voice- and motion control for the 360 UI, the Kinect is thus far doing its job by effectively extending the life of the Xbox 360 beyond the six years the console has already been out.
But the Kinect is rapidly evolving beyond the Xbox 360, as an entire community has emerged to re-purpose the hardware for a multitude of new projects.
But as everyday technologies get better at seeing us naked, it does call to question: Should developers start thinking about censoring their imaging APIs?