According to a report on GamesIndustry International, Microsoft applied last fall for a patent on achievements for watching television. We’ve known for a long time that television was in the Xbox’s future, but this week’s conference demonstrated just how ingrained into the Xbox One’s DNA the television experience will be, making the patent much more relevant.
The patent calls for turning television watching into an interactive experience, awarding achievements for watching video content (such as the Super Bowl, or all the episodes of a given television show), and possibly linking rewards to advertising content.
GamesIndustry International notes that Microsoft also sees the Kinect playing a role in the experience. Certain actions could trigger achievements; sports fans might not be jumping around in front of their televisions during games for nothing if this is implemented. Further, the Kinect can make sure that it’s actually you watching the television, and not the mannequin you stole out of the Macy’s dumpster for your weird art project with the motion-sensing and heartbeat detecting camera.
This could also tie well into Microsoft’s SmartGlass project. While SmartGlass is simple now, the Xbox One will be designed to work with it from the ground up and could easily be linked to award achievements for pulling up additional content on your tablet or phone.
While achievements could make watching TV seem like less of a waste of time, it really looks like it’s just one more way for the creepier aspects of Kinect and the Xbox One to find another way to show us more directed advertising. I’d rather have directed ads than non-directed ads, but I’d really rather have no ads at all.
That said, I can’t wait to get the “‘Stache” achievement for watching every Tom Selleck and Burt Reynolds movie on Netflix.