Just For You

Remember Orwell’s 1984 admonition that “Big brother is Watching” which was designed so that all citizens should not only behave but be seen to behave, and we all smiled and thought: “good plot line, but not in my time” or other rhymes of comfort. Well too late. Our big, Big Brother has made it first (1), that is the guys who want to get their hands in your pocket – the marketing wunderkind.

Your TV is innocent; so don’t throw it out. However, that little spot on the top of your smartphone, tablet, laptop or desktop which you thought was there solely for your cheap face–to–face video calls across the globe will soon need a piece of black electrical tape plastered over it, like the sort that can be used on the warning lights of your car or nuclear power plant. The lead is currently with the UK company, Bunnyfoot who are using facial recognition software to read what you think of products being advertised. Thirdsight out of U of Amsterdam has just been set up to read your expression, and feed it back for product appreciation to help make items, that you don’t need, irresistible.

The use of focus groups, on-line surveys and following keystrokes via embedded cookies has become, well you know, so last century. The combination of targeted advertising from your purchasing and credit records coupled with the way that wayward eyebrow twitches, when you see a picture of a product, will keep you in thrall to the company store. But wait, we’ll give you not one but two for the price of one as soon as our gentle political classes twig which videos you respond well too. You will have all your prejudices satisfied without having to refer to the reports from independent reporters. Bogart said it first:
    "Here's looking at you kid."
                   Rick Blaine in Casablanca

1. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-12581446

2 Responses so far.

  1. jazgal says:

    Insidious! Then, there's Minority Report, too. Philip K. Dick certainly knew his paranoid visions when he saw them! Customized marketing takes it all too far! Get out the electrical tape!

  2. I already unplug my playstation camera when not using it. it is just to scary. I feel like it is watching me.

Leave a Reply