Specialist security company Arlia Systems has just earned a grant to use special cameras embedded in the screens at movie theaters to film your facial expressions so that they might serve you more relevant advertisements. The firm plans on using infrared cams to detect and collect the way you are reacting to the images and sounds around you, using 3D facial recognition technology to determine how much you love or hate what they’re presenting on the screen.
The photo above is borrowed and modified. The original image can be found in the folders of flickr user ToastyKen
This reminds me of the worst/best superhero movie ever made: Batman Forever, where the Riddler uses technology with televisions to both put images in your mind while extracting all of your knowledge in the process. Aralia Systems has been awarded both a grant of £118,000 from the Technology Strategy Board and the EPSRC as well as a Knowledge Transfer Partnership with UWE’s Machine Vision Lab (MVL) worth more than £215,000. With this cash, they are to redevelop imaging technology currently used for detecting pirates in the audience making bootlegs of movies by filming them in the theater.
The technology will also be used to monitor attention and audience movement. So probably they will be able to see you making out in the back row. Prof Melvyn Smith, director of the MVL, had this to say about the project’s 3D mapping of facial features: “Because our data is richer we think we might be able to acquire additional information about what the audience is doing, … What we’re keen to determine is: are they sitting in family groups? At what point are they enjoying the film? Is there a point when the section of the audience is looking bored or disinterested?”
A Canadian company by the name of Pikaia Systems is currently in a partnership with Aralia and will eventually be reponsible for deploying and marketing the final product.