On the other hand:
Coupled with this TV functionality, Microsoft’s next-generation Kinect sensor will also play a role in the company’s TV focus. The Verge has learned that the next Kinect will detect multiple people simultaneously, including the ability to detect eye movement to pause content when a viewer turns their head away from a TV.
I really don’t understand this functionality. It sounds like a stupid novelty in the new Samsung Galaxy phone, and I think it’s worse here. Given how many people now “watch” TV with a second screen, is it going to pause every three seconds?
Words cannot express how pissed I would be if turning away from a TV meant that it paused what I was watching. I routinely walk away in dialogue heavy scenes to get a glass of water or whatever, and then return without having missed anything of substance. If I had to change a setting to enable this behaviour (i.e. what I’ve done my entire life) then I’d be annoyed as hell. I think this approach generally presumes that people should be actively just watching what’s on the screen and I really don’t know that many people who focus that hard on screen-based entertainment at home all that often.
Also: as cool as the Kinect is this is the kind of use case that bothers me about the technology more generally. Perpetually having an Internet-accessible series of cameras and microphones is one thing when I can control when they’re on or not: I don’t like the idea of them being ‘on’ when I’m not actively involved in a very specific operation that demands this kind of functionality. And, I mean, if Microsoft implements this there’s no way that advertisers or marketers aren’t going to want the data collected (in ‘aggregate and anonymous’, I’m sure) by the Kinect that’s watching and listening to everything you do within a 15ft radius of your TV.