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Movies That Watch You

Going to the movies is always fun, but would you still enjoy it if you knew the movie was watching you?

Soon, movie theaters may be equipped with cameras that will use facial recognition technology to monitor which way you are facing; if you’re laughing, scared, or bored; and if you came alone or with friends.

In order to monitor facial expressions, the theater cameras will illuminate the audience with infrared beams and create 3-D stereoscopic images of each viewer. Aralia Systems, a British security firm, received a $350,000 grant to develop the system.

Advertisers are interested in using this technology because they could apply the data to determine how their messages are received and then adjust them accordingly. The findings would also provide movie studios with valuable feedback when they run test screenings.

But how will the public feel about another intrusion into their private space?

Tell us what you think: being watched by a screen – thumbs up or thumbs down?

Image: Alyssa L. Miller/Flickr and ToastyKen/Flickr

7 Responses to “Movies That Watch You”

  1. It’s rather crazy, what we are capable of creating.. It’s also concerning that some day soon there’ll be cameras analyzing everybody at the cinema… >///<'

  2. This is a horrible intrusion of privacy and frightening.

  3. intrusion of privacy. one day your watching a movie alone. then what if one day they use the footage somewhere else?

  4. I agree with the above. I mean, at what point are we going to say ‘enough is enough’ (as in, technology)? People are growing up into a generation where they don’t know anything else– how can we make decisions about what’s good and bad or neutral when there’s no longer the yoke of our fading reality to compare this ultimately blinding realization of technology? It’s like a craze that became our link to sanity. I mean, the way this great opportunity is shaping, well- opportunities… Indeed, it is frightening. If we actually [can] take a step back and look at it.
    The minute I see “it” looking back at me, that’s just, like, a glimpse of the end. There’s nowhere to go except maybe space. LOL. I’m watching myself type this dramatic, self-deranging critique about a dramatic, self-destructive idea.

    I think that means my answer to your question is:
    confused. =)

    Also, the visual depiction you used to illustrate the article is wonderfully eye-gripping (no pun intended)!

    Thanks for sharing!

  5. Whoops, I didn’t to submit that whole thing. (I thought the second half was erased). Well, if you’re confused about the above, it’s probably because there’s a weak thread of fragmented ideas, with which I failed to create independent sentences.
    I’ll just pretend the point was not to make any sense…

  6. What if someone were to use this technology and make an interactive film? Imagine if the movie were to change as it goes on, based on your reaction!

  7. I for one think that might actually be somewhat interesting for a couple of reasons 1) They can improve certain movies before going to DVD if needed. 2) They will know what the majority of people like based on their reactions, and can use it for future reference.

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