Pritect for Kinect Review

Installation

Installation is very easy:  simply slip it over the top of your Kinect sensor.  That’s it.  There is a nice cutout on the front of the unit that allows the Xbox 360 logo on the Kinect to be visible with the cover on, and it looks just like the Kinect from a distance, so no one will know that the cover is on unless you tell them.

Pritect eliminates view of distracting LED indicator and infrared sensor lights

I use my Xbox to stream HBO Go and Media Center programming.  With the Xbox powered up, a green LED is always visible, and the Kinect is looking for motion with an infrared light beam.  These lights can be distracting in a dark room when watching a movie or TV show.  The Pritect slips over the top of the Kinect, hiding these LED’s, but leaves the sides uncovered for the Kinect to sense your voice commands.  The result is a better viewing experience with voice commands still available.

Pritect has been designed for minimal impact, seamlessly slips on and off, and will not harm or damage sensor surface

The Pritect slips on and off without effort, and since it has felt tabs at the edges that make contact with the surface of the Kinect, it should not scratch the surface.  It should not harm the sensor as it stands well away from the surface.

Pritect will not alter standard functions such as voice commands or calibration procedures, but simply eliminates the light necessary for the camera to operate

Voice commands still worked fine with the cover on.  As it just blocks the cameras, I’d say that this promise is fulfilled.

With Pritect, you can now close the blinds

The Kinect is a very advanced camera system that integrates voice recognition and biometric and facial recognition functions.  If a hacker were to gain control of the Kinect camera, they could see what was happening in your house.  While this is admittedly a remote possibility, Kinect is being rolled out to Windows 8, and we have heard of remote webcam hacks in the past several years.  The Pritect does eliminate the potential for unwanted viewing issues to arise.  Here is what Catalyst has to say about this risk:

Privacy
Whether by malicious hackers, unscrupulous advertisers, rogue employees, or some other unforeseen threat, there are several implications to be considered with this new technology, all of which are valid. In fact, if you’ve agreed to the most recent Xbox Live TOS agreement, you no longer have the right to sue Microsoft in a civilian court if your privacy is compromised! How convenient.

Do you guys wear tin-foil hats and live in underground bunkers?

No! We love this technology and truly enjoy all of the amazing innovations that continue to come as a result. However, a direct view into millions of living rooms across the globe is certainly a great power, and with great power comes great responsibility. Pritect allows Kinect users to directly control how and when the camera is exposed, thus restoring balance to the power by allowing users to share the responsibility. Wow… that’s deep.

I’m not sure that I find this overly convincing, but the Pritect does control when the camera is exposed.  That is a valid benefit.

Do I Really Need One of These?

If you believe the risk of hacking or are concerned about the light distraction when using the Xbox to stream video content, I’d buy one.  The other benefits are nice, but really these are the two that are the most important.  MSRP is $14.99, and Amazon in the US currently is selling these for $9.99.  At that price, I would say that it is probably a good idea just to eliminate the lights on the Kinect from distracting you when playing back videos on your Xbox.  The product does what it says it will, so we’ll give it a 4/5 rating.

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Find out more at the Pritect website:

[button link="http://www.pritectcover.com/"]Pritect Website[/button]

You can buy the Pritect at these vendors:

[button link="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0054NROWU/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=fireconsltd-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=B0054NROWU"]Amazon.com[/button]

[button link="http://www.bestbuy.com/site/Pritect+-+Privacy+Cover+for+Kinect+-+Black+Gloss/4565169.p?id=1218492381896&skuId=4565169" style="info" window="yes"]BestBuy.Com[/button]

[button link="http://www.target.com/p/Pritect-Sensor-Cover-for-Kinect-Xbox-360/-/A-13967110" style="info" window="yes"]Target.Com[/button]