Aaron Paul TV ad turns on Xbox One consoles without users' permission: Not cool at all!

By Mike Cannon, Tech Times | June 14, 6:53 PM

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Aaron Paul Xbox One ad

A new Xbox One commercial features Aaron Paul using voice commands to turn on an Xbox. While the commercial plays, some users are seeing their own Xbox consoles turn on as well. That's creepy.
(Photo : Microsoft | YouTube)

A commercial advertising Microsoft's Xbox One is having some unintended consequences. In the ad, Aaron Paul of Breaking Bad uses Kinect's voice recognition to turn on the Xbox. Many gamers are finding their own consoles turning on as well.

The Xbox One features a variety of voice commands that can be used to interact with the device through the microphone in the Kinect. Since one of these commands turns the Xbox on, the Kinect is always listening for commands. In the latest commercial from Microsoft for the Xbox One, Aaron Paul uses the phrase, "Xbox on" to turn on his console. While watching the commercial, many Xbox owners are finding that their own Kinect registers the command and boots up the console. The phenomenon prompted gamers to start discussions on Reddit and Twitter, with reactions ranging from irritation to amusement.

"@Xbox, your new TC advert is annoying the hell outta me. Aaron Paul keeps turning my console on... #stooooop," writes Twitter user Tom Neal.

"HAHAHA omg. @aaronpaul_8 just turned my Xbox One via the Xbox advert. (Which triggered the IR blaster to switch my TV off..) Amazing," writes tech blogger Qassim Farid on Twitter.

The Aaron Paul commercial is not the first time an Xbox One commercial has triggered a response from Kinect. A YouTube video show's one gamer's console reacting to a command to display the game Dead Rising 3.

The tendency for the Kinect to respond to voice commands from speakers has also spawned a number of practical jokes played on Xbox One users.

"Shouting "Xbox off" over the studio PA is already getting old," writes Andreas Fredriksson of Insomniac Games on Twitter.

A popular YouTube video also shows a gamer who has set his gamertag to "Xbox Sign Out." When other Xbox One players say his name over the voice chat, Kinect hears the command and pops up a screen asking them to confirm that they want to sign out.

Although currently little more than an amusing accident, Kinect's ability to respond to voice commands from commercials could allow companies to specifically target Xbox One owners. For example, a TV ad could order the Xbox to go to the page of the game that's being advertised, or visit the company website. These techniques seem a bit silly now, but if the Xbox One continues selling more units, owners could represent a population significant enough to consider targeting with these methods.

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