At least that’s what the Xbox Wire says.
Microsoft’s Xbox Wire has posted a ton of new information clarifying aspects of the Xbox One, including information on game licensing, connection requirements and perhaps most importantly, Kinect.
Apparently, Kinect can be paused. According to the post, it stated that, “If you don’t want the Kinect sensor on while playing games or enjoying your entertainment, you can pause Kinect.” Sounds simple enough, right? But Kinect can never be turned off. You can even turn off your console, but Kinect is still on, waiting for the command “Xbox On”.
This feature can also apparently be turned off (but does this mean Kinect is off, or that it’s just not listening?). However, there are some games and apps that “may require Kinect functionality to operate, so you’ll need to turn it back on for these experiences.” We’re sure this means un-pausing the device for use in motion control games.
The report also states that “you will determine how responsive and personalized your Xbox One is to you and your family during setup. The system will navigate you through key privacy options, like automatic or manual sign in, privacy settings, and clear notifications about how data is used. When Xbox One is on and you’re simply having a conversation in your living room, your conversation is not being recorded or uploaded.”
But that’s just an assurance. Unless you explicitly switch Kinect off, which seems to be limited to just controlling its listening abilities, there’s no guarantee you’re not being listened on.
Finally, there’s the assurance that, “You can play games or enjoy applications that use data, such as videos, photos, facial expressions, heart rate and more, but this data will not leave your Xbox One without your explicit permission.”