MoviePass to track user's eyes to force them to watch ads

MoviePass CEO Stacey Spikes gave a recent presentation on new technology he plans to launch this summer. Essentially it’s an app to watch ads in exchange for tokens which can be used to watch movies. The catch is the app uses your phone’s camera to track your eyes and won’t play unless you’re paying attention and watching the presented ads.


CEO giving presentation on stage,
MoviePass CEO Stacey Spikes

For many of us there’s that level of resistance when forced to watch an ad where we go, no, just for sheer spite I’m not going to watch it, I’m going to look away for a moment or zone my brain out then click to move on as soon as it’s done. With the emergence of this technology, even this small resistance to advertising may be coming to an end. For although MoviePass’s app is completely voluntary, this technological development in quantifying and exchanging your devoted time and concentration in return for goods has much darker future implications.


In a world saturated with ads passively vying for our attention, this emerging technology has the potential to be used in a way to force-feed us information. And one can imagine technology will develop (if it isn’t already here) that will be used to watch our eyes to see what grabs our attention to be translated into analytics to further target us with more ads. Our devices are already listening to us, watching us it seems is the next logical step.


A man has his eyes forced open to watch something. Eyedrops are being dropped into his eyes
Shot from A Clockwork Orange

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