Microsoft engineers hint at next Xbox TV plans

Microsoft has been keen on expanding its Xbox brand to other forms of entertainment, especially with its ever-growing suite of entertainment apps. A few of the company's engineers and designers have now dropped some intriguing hints of how the company could expand that in the next Xbox.

Kotaku reports that a LinkedIn resume from a Microsoft engineer cites work on the Video Cognition team on "cool new features for the next Xbox." This team was reportedly formed after Microsoft acquired VideoSurf, which could catalog and tag videos by scanning them.

So what are these features, exactly? The Microsoft career portal says the team aims to "radically change the way we watch TV" and to use gestural and voice controls for streamlined searches and sharing features. The tech pioneered by VideoSurf could certainly be a part of this. Meanwhile, one designer references "xTV" while suggesting that the company needs to "reposition Xbox to serve an audience beyond traditional gamers."

As the report notes, an increased focus on TV functionality would give some context to the rumors of an always online console, as DVR boxes are meant to be connected constantly as well. We had heard of plans to turn the Xbox into a more general entertainment brand, which was once again reinforced this week when the company sold Mediaroom to focus its Xbox entertainment plans across a wide range of devices.