I, along with about 18 million other people, own a Kinect. Many of those people have no idea how it works. They have no clue that when the Xbox is on the Kinect acts like a window into your home. I already know what you’re saying, “Fir3truck you’re being paranoid.” Folks, Microsoft said it themselves, the Kinect can gather marketing info just by being “ON”. That’s right, according to the COO of Microsoft if you are watching a football game it can see what jersey you are wearing and determine which team you support. This means they can take that info and start to market to households over the Xbox. Not to mention the possibility of hackers getting into to and recording what is happening in your home.
If you’re like me you never thought about any of this when you bought your Kinect. Well the gang over at Catalyst Components are one step ahead of you. They have created a cover for the Kinect for just this reason. I know it sounds silly. When I was asked to review the cover I said the same thing, but this thing is actually really cool and a great idea.
What the hell is it?
That’s simple. It’s a high gloss, injection molded plastic cover that slides over the Kinect. It’s made in the USA and matches beautifully with the rest of the system. It’s ‘Sleek’ and ‘Simple.’ No, that is not the tag line form the company. It really is.
What Does it do?
It is very simple in what it does too. It blocks the IR sensor, the camera, and the LED light from seeing and/or being seen. It also protects the Kinect from dust and stuff. By “stuff” I mean little hands that might want to touch the lens. Yes, I have a 3 year old son who seems to think he needs to touch the Kinect every time it moves.
But doesn’t it mess up the calibration or block the mic?
No and No. They thought of that too. It will not interfere with either feature. The cover leaves the ends of the Kinect open so the mic will still work.
What about Installation?
Installing the cover is very easy. It slides on when you need to cover the sensor. Then it slides off when you want to play a game or use the motion controls.
OK, how much and where can I get it?
So what do you really think about the cover?
I’m very surprised that I like the cover as much as I do. It does everything it claims to. I don’t buy many accessories for my Xbox, but this one I would. Not just for the privacy, but when I’m watching a movie and have all the lights off you don’t see the Red IR light or the Green LED light. You might not notice it now, but you do when they’re not there. If you are worried at all about damaging your Kinect or having an “open window” into your living room then this is perfect for you. If you have a child, then you really need this. Overall, the Pritect Sensor Cover is a very well thought out accessory for Kinect. It’s one of those things you never knew you needed.
*Editor’s Note: Amazon.com actually had it for $4.70
Product provided by developer for review