Catalyst Components has launched the Pritect Sensor Cover, designed to address security issues for the Xbox 360 Kinect and Kinect for Windows.
Paul Harper, Pritect’s inventor and the president of Catalyst Components, said: “For the first time ever, we have invited into our living rooms a technology which can not only capture video and sound data, but can also identify specific individuals using advanced biometrics, or 3-d facial recognition. The Kinect can see everything when powered on and for most users, has a direct connection to the internet. It’s like a giant window into your home, but you can never know who might be looking in. With Pritect, you can now close the blinds.”
“The Pritect Sensor Cover is the first and only product designed to protect the Kinect’s lenses, eliminate the camera’s view when not in use, and block the LED and infrared sensor lights for an optimal home theater,” said Harper. “Pritect does not interfere with Kinect’s startup calibrations or voice command functions; it simply eliminates the light necessary for the camera to operate.”
By Microsoft’s own admission, the Kinect camera has the potential to record advertising data in any room where it’s placed. According to Microsoft’s COO of Interactive Entertainment Business, Dennis Durkin, if people are watching a sports event, the Kinect’s camera can identify what jersey they are wearing so it can determine the team they support. Such data is valuable to advertisers who can then tailor their advertising to that household. Whether by this type of business practice, malicious hackers, or some other unforeseen threat, personal privacy has the potential to be compromised for anyone who owns a Kinect.
Made in the USA from high gloss injection molded plastic, Pritect fits seamlessly onto the Kinect, complimenting the Kinect’s aesthetics while providing a protective shell that blocks the camera and LED/infrared lights while safeguarding against dust and debris.
“The Kinect is an amazing device that will continue to assert itself as an integral part of gaming and in many other applications,” said Paul Harper. “The ability to play games without a controller has added an entirely new level of fun and excitement. However, it also has some questionable and, some might say, chilling implications that we should all be aware of. As a father, privacy and safety is my number one concern. Pritect allows the user to determine how and when the camera is exposed and provides an additional layer of security that doesn’t detract in any way from the Kinect’s entertainment value to the family.”