The new ad technology that will force you to pay attention...


Dodging advertisements is as easy as falling off a log these days. If you want to avoid commercial breaks in your favourite TV shows, just record them then sit down to watch 15 minutes after the scheduled start time, before fast -forwarding through the ads.

When it comes to the 30 second ads that increasingly crop up at the start of online videos, we just use the time to see how long we can hold our breath for. Much more fun than being forced to listen to someone jawing on for half a minute about the benefits of owning a Nissan Qashqai.

But now, a major company have filed a patent application for technology that will force consumers to watch ads, using what they’re calling an ‘enforcement routine.’ The technology will apply to almost anything that has a screen - computers, phones, televisions, media players, game devices etc etc.

If and when the new technology is introduced, messages will crop up on the screen, demanding clicks from the consumer. Questions about the advert may be asked, ensuring that you’ve been paying full attention to the message being delivered by the advertiser.

A patent application has also been filed for a version for music players, where an audible prompt will ask the listener to press a specific button to move on to the rest of the ad. In both cases (audio and visual) if the demanding gizmo doesn’t get the answer it wants, the device will freeze until it gets a satisfactory response.

If you’re a bit thick or aren’t paying attention, you could be in for a rough ride – the patent application says that the tests “can be made progressively more aggressive if the user has failed a previous test.” Woop-de-doo!

If this disgusting little piece of technology does come into play, advertisers will be delighted and most right-thinking humans will be livid. But the inventors’ soft-soap claim is that the intention is to offer electronic products for lower prices, knowing that the advertisers’ message is being delivered as required. Purchasers of such equipment would do so willingly, knowing that for a lower price they’ll be expected to play ball with the advertisers’ whims.

Oh, we forgot to mention the name of the company that has pioneered this vile-sounding piece of technology. It’s Apple. Fucking Apple.

[New York Times]


  • HappyHippy
    Half way down the article - I KNEW it would be Apple. Tossers. Burn your i-whatevers NOW........
  • Graham
    the makers of the Jesus phone aren't so good now are they??
  • Paul P.
    Hi, I'm not called Brian. But I am "here". The only upside to this is if more free content is available from iTunes for example.
  • david
  • Steve J.
    The iRack plan didn't go very well -
  • Amanda H.
    It will never happen, Im not buying a fecking iTelly.
  • Harry
    Spotify already do this. If you hit mute on the audio within your OS (not turning off the speakers), then spotify will pause its advert until you come back and it will continue playing it.
  • Matt B.
    I normally do a screen refresh if I get an advert or change my tab to read something else. My fear for the future is that PVR players will start to have integrated systems which force you to watch adverts when you play back a recorded programme.
  • SoWhat
    Don't they already do this on hulu ?
  • Frogman
    THINK Different!
  • Jeffrey A.
    If they actually do do this, then I will make it my life's mission to bring down iApple and all it stands for. I'll do it with whisky and a shotgun. Nothing else.
  • Jennie O.
    I'd rather quit watching telly than put up with adverts. Never anything on worth watching anyway!!!
  • gilgamesh w.
    At times like this I always ask myself, "What would Jesus do". I asked him and in my mind he replied, "Verily I say unto you my son, I wouldst tool myself up with a General Electric Mini-gun, a shitload of grenades, some throwing knifes and that. Then I'd go sort those assholes out.". Clearly Jesus is channeling the spirit of Arnie S. but he's got the right idea.
  • Haleema
    JLS!!!!!!!!!!!! Are WEIRD!!!!!!!!!!! Ha ha,wasnt Aston in Fun Song Factory?
  • theboywil
    I rarely watch TV and so maybe am not the best person to judge, but as far as I can tell. Content costs money to produce. Advertisers pay for content so that I don't have to. If I don't watch the adverts then the advertisers are going to stop paying for the content that I do watch. At which point I will be forced to pay for the content that I want... Too many people want free lunches... (maybe every remote control should have a nice "donate" button that you can press to skip the ads and pay your fair share towards production costs... But then realistically how many of you would actually use it?? )
  • Ten B.
    [...] Apple WILL make you look at adverts, whether you like it or not. Got that? [...]
  • Jes
    It's not a clockwork orange, it's a clockwork apple. :-o
  • Masood
    Much of the time the ads are more funny/entertaining than the shit they put on TV. That said, I dont want more ads.
  • Fizeroo
    Fair do's I'm just waiting for the day ads are beamed into my brain when I'm asleep or shops shout out my name like in that film with Tom cruise in it. Question is..who realy has bought anything because of an add other than one that says 'its half price kitchen crap down at B&Q' I make it my point NOT to buy anything associated with a website pop up so even if I did want a Jesus telly if they forced me to do anything I'd boycott the product. Serious..whos's bought somthing after seeing a 'good add' ?
  • Tritonbairn
    "whos’s bought somthing after seeing a ‘good add’ ?" Guinness!!!!
  • Mandy B.
    Fizeroo - most people. Do you think they would spend so much on advertising if it didn't work? The people it works best on are usually those who proclaim "advertising doesn't work, I';ve never bought anything because of it". We all have at some point, and as advertising gets more sophisticated then more people will buy, buy, buy! More reason to make every day a "Buy Nothing Day".
  • Fizeroo
    Oh I know that the masses do and always will be sucked in by adverts, everything is an advert in one way or another from cars on top gear to holiday destinations as give away prizes on game shows and I don’t see this as a problem. It’s when things become forced that I wonder about its effectiveness. If it goes the way the article suggests that it might, in that ' you must view this advert in order to watch your telly’ then this is going to get my back up and a mental note will go down that the brand placing the ad is to be avoided for being intrusive. In the back of my mind I’m thinking that the marketing departments might see no positive revenue from this method and try something that is unobtrusive and perhaps even enjoyable. So on that I totally agree a funny or well produced, high end add will have me watching. I might even buy in after independent product research and comparison.

What do you think?

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