'Connect Pritect to Protect Kinect:' for all your tinfoil helmet needs

Have you considered that if a secretive governmental cabal seized control of your Kinect, it would be able to spy on you as you lurched awkwardly to Just Dance? Such is the price we pay for abrogating our right to privacy, or at least it was until Catalyst Components came up with a solution. Connect Pritect to Protect Kinect is a high-gloss plastic shield that clips over your device to block the sensor bar's cameras from prying eyes. The only opening is a tiny hole for the Xbox logo -- the efficacy of which is shown after the break. Freedom from surveillance will cost you a meager $15 from Target, Microcenter, Best Buy and Amazon.

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Connect Pritect to Protect Kinect
Safely Avoid Prying Eyes, Infrared Light and Dust Bunnies without Blocking Voice Command Function on Xbox® 360 Kinect™ or Kinect for Windows®

Diamond Bar, CA – When the Kinect for Microsoft Xbox 360 launched in 2010 the world was so captivated by this exciting new way to play video games via motion control that it became the Guinness World Record holder for fastest-selling consumer electronic product. With over 18 million sold to date, that's great news for Microsoft, but questions of in-home security and privacy have continued to plague the platform ever since. Now Catalyst Components has launched the Pritect Sensor Cover, the first and only product designed to address these security issues surrounding the Xbox 360 Kinect and Kinect for Windows.

Paul Harper, Pritect's inventor and the President of Catalyst Components, comments: "For the first time ever, we have invited into our living rooms a technology which can not only capture video and sound data, but can also identify specific individuals using advanced biometrics, or 3-d facial recognition. The Kinect can see everything when powered on and for most users, has a direct connection to the internet. It's like a giant window into your home, but you can never know who might be looking in. With Pritect, you can now close the blinds."

"The Pritect Sensor Cover is the first and only product designed to protect the Kinect's lenses, eliminate the camera's view when not in use, and block the LED and infrared sensor lights for an optimal home theater," continued Harper. "Pritect does not interfere with Kinect's startup calibrations or voice command functions; it simply eliminates the light necessary for the camera to operate."

By Microsoft's own admission, the Kinect camera has the potential to record advertising data in any room where it's placed. According to Microsoft's COO of Interactive Entertainment Business, Dennis Durkin, if people are watching a sports event, the Kinect's camera can identify what jersey they are wearing so it can determine the team they support. Such data is valuable to advertisers who can then tailor their advertising to that household. Whether by this type of business practice, malicious hackers, or some other unforeseen threat, if the camera is on, even when not in use, and remains exposed to the room, personal privacy has the potential to be compromised for anyone who owns a Kinect.

Identifying these issues early on, Catalyst Components developed Pritect, a simple device that can ensure in-home privacy, but easily allow access to Kinect when desired. Made in the USA from high gloss injection molded plastic, Pritect fits seamlessly onto the Kinect, perfectly complimenting the Kinect's aesthetics while providing a protective shell that blocks the camera and LED/infrared lights while safeguarding against dust and debris.

"The Kinect is an amazing device that will continue to assert itself as an integral part of gaming and in many other applications" commented Paul Harper. "The ability to play games without a controller has added an entirely new level of fun and excitement. However, it also has some questionable and, some might say, chilling implications that we should all be aware of. As a father, privacy and safety is my number one concern. Pritect allows the user to determine how and when the camera is exposed and provides an additional layer of security that doesn't detract in any way from the Kinect's entertainment value to the family."

Product Highlights:

Designed specifically for Xbox 360 Kinect and Kinect for Windows
Designed to obstruct Kinect's camera view when not in use
Ensures privacy and security against potential prying eyes
Blocks LED and infrared light for home theater environments
Protects optical lenses from dust and debris
Does NOT interfere with voice command or calibration
Easily slips on and off Kinect
Conforms to Kinect's sleek black aesthetic
Available at Best Buy, Microcenter, Target and
Suggested Retail Price: $14.99
Made in the USA