Microsoft files patent for television achievements

Encourages players to watch nominated events or whole series; may include Gamerscore-style points, avatar items, or physical goods as rewards.

A patent filed in November 2011 (and made available to the public this month) for an achievement system when watching television and video programming hints that Microsoft may be considering plans to woo users with virtual and physical rewards, according to a report by GamesIndustry International.

"Television viewing tends to be a passive experience for a viewer without many opportunities for the viewer to engage or have interactive experiences with the presented content," reads the application. "To increase interactive viewing and encourage a user to watch one or more particular items of video content, awards and achievements may be tied to those items of video content."

Dubbed “Awards and Achievements Across TV Ecosystems”, the listing can be found on the US Patent and Trademark Office website. It includes potential scenarios to compensate users for viewing specific programming, watching commercials, or interacting with on-screen events as tracked by the Kinect. The latter may include tracking your lounge room to check you’re there, or asking you to "display a product that is imaged by a camera, and the computing system may identify the product".

According to the application, spectators who view a single event, such as the Super Bowl, or watch an entire season of video content may be rewarded.

"Additionally, by tying the awards and achievements to particular items of video or advertising content, viewers may be encouraged to increase their viewership of the content, thus increasing advertising opportunities," the patent reads.

Rewards for viewers could include an increase in an Xbox Gamerscore-style point system, Xbox Live avatar clothing and items, physical goods, or unlocks of previously inaccessible content, though no specifics were provided.

GameSpot contacted Microsoft to confirm whether any of the features listed in the patent application will be supported by the company's upcoming Xbox One console. A spokesperson was unavailable for comment at time of publication.

This latest filing by Microsoft shares similarities with a previous patent that describes monitoring viewers watching content.

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Discussion

855 comments
DamnILoveGames
DamnILoveGames

The day has come my fellow brethren. The day they said I was crazy for believing in. The day that watching TV...IS AN ACHIEVEMENT!

DKant
DKant

This could be interesting if instead of just watching they rewarded some form of actual interaction. Like voting on something, or setting up, modifying your DreamTeam etc.

It's only rewards for interaction and actual engagement that are rewarding to people. Not for just "watching". People might actually get offended! :D

klonoa53
klonoa53

This is so funny Im actually going to get one now.

telaros
telaros

"Achievement Unlocked!: Couch Potato" sits fot 8 hours a day in front of his/her/its TV. 

"Achievement Unlocked!: Shut In!" Person us devoid of a social life and never leaves their room, prefers cheese puffs and Dr. Pepper with their American Idols marathons!

Pauly McTaggart
Pauly McTaggart

Idiocracy the movie is becoming REAL. GO AWAY BATING!!!!

ry0uz
ry0uz

ROFL! Seriously? So now you'll get 'achievements' for not having a life! Awesome! "Achievement unlocked: Shake it off! - Jerk-off to shake weight infommercial!"

Obviously, this is just so they can monitor users TV viewing habits and use it for data-mining. How exactly is this not 'spyware'?

VelvetKevorkian
VelvetKevorkian

M$ scared shitless we won't buy into their products, so they have to offer us imaginary points  for using their pointless "console"

Decapod_10
Decapod_10

ACHIEVEMENT UNLOCKED - Did nothing with your life for the past week

Lillypaw
Lillypaw

It's all about control, TV Programs will get charged my Micromuppets for everyviewer that watchs some god awlful series, as we all watch the damn thing to win a avatar item for all 106 episodes lol.  Micromuppets gah!!!!

Lillypaw
Lillypaw

yes just what I always wanted a Fridge on my Avatar as i watch a Currys advert hmmm it's a very sad day :(

thermalcold
thermalcold

This is kinda ridiculous. The only thing M$ can come up with are apps that we have to constantly pay money for. If I want to watch tv or radio, which is free to begin with, they come up with apps that require you to pay money to use. This is called 'revenue stream' for the wallet grabbing corporations. It benefits them greatly, while you get a 'achievement'/

naryanrobinson
naryanrobinson

Sorry, Microsoft simply aren't destructive enough to society for me.

Maybe I'll come back *next* gen when they're giving out achievements for super-sizing your McDonalds order on the XBOX app every day for a year and have online leaderboards for most hours spent out of sunlight.

Daemoroth
Daemoroth

With an XBox One, TV watches YOU!

Kid_Black_Star
Kid_Black_Star

Oh god i know for a fact i'm going to get the Sad excuse of human waste achievement & couch potato achievement day one. 

zintarr
zintarr

Since the thing spies on you (camera, sound, heart rate) can we get the "Just banged another hottie" achievement?

zintarr
zintarr

MS is on a crusade to make people stupider than they already are.

Mohammad Arif Hossain
Mohammad Arif Hossain

What a joke. No sane person would buy a SONY PlayStation 4 after what Microsoft unveiled (Xbox One).

NightFox313
NightFox313

Kill it.

Kill the achievements before they lay eggs.

kidflash2000
kidflash2000

-___- Yay...I can now brag about how much I sit on my a$$ instead of earning a real achievement...otherwise known as "ACHEIVEMENTS FOR EVERYBODY!!!"


pycho22solid
pycho22solid

....do i get one for "not killing yourself" for watching 6 hours of "Honey Boo-Boo"??

jadaski1
jadaski1

The next series of achievements will involve clicking advertisements and spending money on sponsored content. The final achievement will involve simply turning on the Xbox, because most of the core gamers will have thrown their Xbox's out a window by then.

deathstream
deathstream

There are mobile apps that do this very thing.  Smart way to generate revenue from users interested in the TV features.

2 more weeks until E3 and information about games....

N12K
N12K

Xbox stop watching me

TurboGuru
TurboGuru

"Television viewing tends to be a passive experience for a viewer without many opportunities for the viewer to engage or have interactive experiences with the presented content,"


Oh FFS Microsoft, has it ever crossed your minds that people come home from work/school and just want to sit on a comfy sofa 'watching' some tv to relax, not constantly be engaged or bombarded with interactivity bullshit. If I want interactivity I will play a game, then again your new console wouldn't know fuck all about that.

bmart970
bmart970

That is so, so, sooooooooo stupid! The idea of achievements (at least for me) is to encourage truly completing a game, not stupid things like this.

mjswooosh
mjswooosh

This is BEYOND stupid. Seriously.

How about achievements for NOT buying an XBone? Or achievements for returning or selling an XBone and buying a PS4?

WOW.

javenandy
javenandy

Lol keep grasping for straws ms. what a stupid ploy to get more people to buy your crap box lol.Whats funny about this is people will find this as a cool feature.

mjswooosh
mjswooosh

I can't wait to do some really advanced things on the XBone, like watch cable TV...that'd be so COOL because cable TV is so new and cutting edge. Even though its 2013 I really love to watch commercials. Who needs streaming services?

Grenadeh
Grenadeh

Hey look all the stupid fucktards hopped all over this article. NO WAY!?!!?!?

Grenadeh
Grenadeh

I'm down. Then all that time I wasted watching Arrested Development can be qualified with an achievement.

Stag_Lee
Stag_Lee

"Television viewing tends to be a passive experience for a viewer without many opportunities for the viewer to engage or have interactive experiences with the presented content,"

Look MS, not everything needs to be interactive. Sometimes people just want to grab some chips, sit on the couch, and relax. What's with Microsoft's obsession with plugging everything into everything else? 


A "passive experience" is the whole damn point of television.


voljin1987
voljin1987

@zintarr ofc.. and the guy on the other end who is watching gets the voyeur achievement

MJ-X
MJ-X

@deathstream I dont really think games will save this console, games are our least problem at the moment. cross platform games are easily there with 10 years to go more will come.

deathstream
deathstream

@TurboGuru 

Then don't use the added features.  Seems pretty simple.  You get confused this easily often?

Grenadeh
Grenadeh

@Stag_Lee It's actually not. Most good shows are designed to make you think so that you talk about the show with other people and you shoot theories around and get excited about it. That's not passive, that's active. You may not be directly part of the show, unlike Defiance which is bad, but you're still interacting.

MJ-X
MJ-X

@deathstream @TurboGuru As much as I agree with you, all these added services and features only increase the price of the console to cover for their R&D (failed) which the consumer ends up coping with.

JustPlainLucas
JustPlainLucas

@Grenadeh @Stag_Lee During the actual viewing of the show, you're about as active as a houseplant.  If you're actually interacting with other people during the viewing, you need to shut the fuck up and pay attention to the show. 

Stag_Lee
Stag_Lee

@Grenadeh Well I think you're right in that, but to me that's a different kind of interaction, more of an interaction among fans than an interaction with the show itself or its producers. A good example of viewer-to-show interaction is the talent show, where the viewer gets to vote on winners. (I don't see anything wrong with that at all.)

The worry for me is that this seems like it could be just another form of advertisement, or data mining, if that's the right term, or a way of keeping viewers interested without adding to the quality of the show. I don't understand why we would get an 'achievement' for watching a tv show. Seems gimmicky. But I'm not clear on what exactly MS has patented here.

(I don't think your comment is bullshit or clueless at all... And I wish people on Gamespot could interact without the auto-hostility!)

mjswooosh
mjswooosh

@Grenadeh Bullshit. People watch TV for passive, RELAXING entertainment. They play video games if they want a more interactive, TAXING experience. Yet again, an utterly clueless statement. lol

Stag_Lee
Stag_Lee

@JustPlainLucas @Grenadeh  Depends on the show! It's funny, I'm not really sure why this bothers me. I think it's the idea of a broadcaster looking over my shoulder, patting me on the back if I watch 'em all sort of thing. I'd rather they just showed the show and backed off.