The XBox One & the CIO

Michael Hugos, Principal, Center for Systems Innovation | 11/7/2013 | 33 comments

Michael Hugos
Microsoft's rollout of Xbox One is going to be a game changer for CIOs and CMOs alike. What does a game console have to do with your marketing strategy?

Xbox One and its live network will use Kinect technology that can detect and measure real-time customer responses as people view content and interact with their Xboxes. Kinect can distinguish up to five or six different voices in a room. It can respond to voice commands. It can track body movements and determine if someone is looking at or away from the Xbox console screen. It can even measure heart rates.

Over the last eight years, Xbox 360 has sold more than 78 million units, and Xbox One sales could equal or exceed that. If just a small percentage of people who buy the Xbox One share their Kinect data, it will provide a real-time feedback loop between companies and their customers the likes of which has never been seen before.

Forget marketing focus groups, customer surveys, Nielsen ratings, and Facebook Likes. Companies can now get detailed biometric data from millions of customers in real-time showing their reactions to advertisements and the shows those ads are sponsoring. The sample size and detail of the data will provide a level of statistical significance and accuracy not possible until now.

Here are three questions to consider as you ponder your reaction to the new Xbox. The first question is a technical one: Do you understand enough about how Kinect works so you can explain it to others and explain how your company could tap into this real-time data stream? This isn't an off-the-wall question. Your company may well be a Microsoft shop already, and this technology is a big part of Microsoft's future direction. You will need to know about it to further your technical career.

The second question is a business question: Once you have connected your company to the Microsoft Live network and start receiving this data, how will you enable your company to monitor and respond in real-time to what the data tells you? This is what your colleagues will want to know. If your company can't figure this out, your competitors will. Companies that figure this out could become wildly successful. How will your company fare in such a world?

The last question transcends both technology and business. It may be the most important question of all. It certainly is the hardest one to answer. That question: Is collecting all this data a good idea?

To make it work, you have to have a great business plan to make use of it. You are also storing some very personal data, and you become a caretaker of intimate details about your customers. Do you want that?

Along with facial recognition software and smartphones, we're seeing more devices being used to provide intimate customer data and serve them ads, offers, products, and services like never before. We're literally being allowed into their living rooms and their lives.

What do you think? Is all this data collection a good idea? Can you turn it into a business? Do you want to? If you don't want to, can you afford to sit out while others try? Comment below.

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Susan Nunziata   The XBox One & the CIO   1/28/2014 12:37:22 AM
Re: Other end of the spectrum
@MDMConsult: right, and that's not even counting the number of word-of-mouth referrals that social media enables. I've seen an increase in news about job openings among my FB friends in recent months, which I suppose is good news. 
MDMConsult   The XBox One & the CIO   12/16/2013 12:56:33 PM
Re: Other end of the spectrum
@Susan Yes. There are companies that don't even intentionally recruit or and candidates may find the company through social. Even a simple post with a social site that has strong followers can surely attract candidates for new positions.
Susan Nunziata   The XBox One & the CIO   11/30/2013 5:27:01 PM
Re: Gadgets spying
@kstaron: it's not you, it's them. They really are spying on us.


In all seriousness, we have gotten used to our every move being tracked on the internet, but somehow the idea of TV watching me gives me the creeps.

I suppose as you note it could have value for healthcare, or even for those who want to get excercise at home. But, geeze, all I can think is what will the hackers do with all this connectedness? Yikes!!
Susan Nunziata   The XBox One & the CIO   11/30/2013 5:25:25 PM
Re: Other end of the spectrum
@MDMconsult: I love the idea of using social platforms to recruit candidates, and using these devices as tools to engage and train. There's no doubt that as these technologies evolve we'll increasingly find ways to incorporate them into our business.
Susan Nunziata   The XBox One & the CIO   11/27/2013 4:23:51 PM
Re: Talk about a game changer
@Michael: Thank you for the links. I do think semantics are a challenge in getting the enterprise to understand the value of using game mechanics in the workplace. I feel like once they hear the word "game" most exectuvies' eyes glaze over and their brains automatically shut down, because all they can imagine is their workers acting like a bunch of teens playing World of Warcraft.

not sure what new name can be coined, but I think it would help to have something else to call this learning tool. 
kstaron   The XBox One & the CIO   11/22/2013 5:17:39 PM
Gadgets spying
Why do I feel like all my gadgets are beginning to spy on me? Between TV's that watch you, smartphones that track you, and computers that watch you and now a game system that watches you, it's like there's hardly any privacy left. I'm not planning on sharing my data, and I'm not sure I want ads that targeted. But on the flipside, having a massproduced item that can monitor movements and heartrates could have really neat applications in medicine.
Michael Hugos   The XBox One & the CIO   11/21/2013 9:59:53 AM
Re: Talk about a game changer
@Susan - I think games are going to happen in the enterprise because they provide a great way to organize and motivate people in high change and unpredictable environments. I'll expand on that in an article or two for E2.

At present in business any application of games is lumped under the term "gamification" which includes everything from giving workers a smiley face for making more widgets to more sophisticated application of game mechanics for training and workflow improvement. As we all know, some of the gamification stuff is pretty silly, so it makes a lot of people just roll their eyes and not consider the larger potential.

As you say, the military is into games in a big way for training and they sure don't call it gamification. They call it "interactive simulation". There is a big military simulation and games show every year in Orlando called I/ITSEC. I went last year. People who what to see the potential should check it out. Here is the link to that show and you can see the extent to which the military is using games -

Games do not mean just "fun and games". Business has a lot to learn. The quote you cited from my book points to the potential of game mechanics in business. Here's what a Group VP at Gartner said about my book Enterprise Games -

Let the games begin...


User Ranking: Blogger
SunitaT   The XBox One & the CIO   11/21/2013 12:48:14 AM
Re : The XBox One & the CIO
Microsoft, through the development of XBOX-ONE is trying to reach the existing fan base it created through the sales of Xbox 360. However the Xbox One had become highly unpopular due to its game registration policies. However that was cleverly addressed to, keeping some things the same. As per biometric data collection is concerned, this will be harmless if done under some guidelines. 
Susan Nunziata   The XBox One & the CIO   11/12/2013 2:25:01 PM
Re: Too Much Information
@Sara: Absolutely, I think the advertising and media businesses are still stuck in some old mindsets when it comes to making the most of these  new avenues of exposure. I hope we'll have some examples to share soon, certianly worth exploring further.

i'd love to hear more from the community: Has anyone seen any truly groundbreaking marketing that has worked for you as a consuemr or for your company as the result of having access to so much data about individuals? If so, please share. 
Susan Nunziata   The XBox One & the CIO   11/12/2013 2:19:23 PM
Re: Talk about a game changer
@Michael: Thanks, I've seen alot of the military examples, and I'm surprised that games haven't been embraced more in the enterprise.

This outtake from your book description pretty well nails the benefits:

The key element to creating a game is a real-time feedback system that shows people what the score is and whether their actions are taking them closer to or further away from the goal. Games attract players through excitement created by this moment-to-moment feedback. Companies can attract customers and enthusiastic employees through excitement created by showing them what is happening in their business activities in real-time or near real-time and then giving them reasons to care about the outcome.

What do you think will be the factors that infuence enterprises to reach a "tipping point" when it comes to applying games and game mechanics in the workplace?
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