In Japan, NHK is testing out little cameras embedded in TVs that watch you watching them, analyzing your movements and facial expressions to figure out what programs and advertisements you like and what you don't. Is this a good idea or a terrible one? It could be both.
While most people might not be comfortable with cameras in their TVs watching their every move, the argument for it does sort of make sense: if your TV can tell what ads and shows you do and don't like, it'll be able to adjust what it shows you to be more of what you like to see. It's like Gmail: by reading your email (you did know that Google reads all your email, right?), you get Google ads that matter to you instead of random annoyingness. Or that's the idea, anyway.
The prototype TVs, developed by Japan's NHK Science & Technology Research Laboratories, use cameras to take pictures of you while you're watching stuff. Those pics are sent to a tablet PC, which analyzes them to estimate your levels of interest and concentration and whether you're happy, sad, angry, or bored. Based on that information, the computer can then learn what you like and make recommendations. It works both ways, too: if you start noticing that every single advertisement for the last three weeks has been for antidepressants, it's a subtle clue that perhaps you've been looking a bit mopey as of late. Thank you, TV psychiatrist.
Via New Launches