Choose your own ads – with YOUR EYES
Eye tracking technology is something marketing gurus get their coke spoons in a twist about on a regular basis. It’s so…Robocop! It’s so futuristic! You can like, see inside people’s BRAINS and sell them what they’re thinking about right now! (in my case, usually chips).
Until now, it’s been pretty duff, but now researchers at Lancaster University have developed an advertising system called ‘Sideways’, which zooms in on faces and eye movements while people are shopping. Then a video screen can show them ads related to what they were looking at as they shopped. More usefully, it can also allow people to use their eyes to control advertising on screens, or scroll through content. An eye swipe, if you will.
Senior researcher Andreas Bulling says it can monitor the eye movements of 14 people at a time using a camera positioned behind the screen. "The system detects the faces of people walking by and calculates where the eyes are relative to the eye corners." He explained.
The creators hope it will be in use in shops within 5 years, but it’s hard to see how this will work for targeted ads. I don’t know about you, but I look at a lot of things I’m not particularly interested in every day, because I have EYES, and that’s what they do – they look at stuff. Pigeons. Dog poo. Tins of beans. So if this catches on, expect to see a lot of ads you don’t give a toss about.
Business as usual, then…