Adverts are a fact of life and, as people grow more and more accustomed to them, advertisers are going to have to think of increasingly underhanded and creative ways to make sure you notice them. That’s why in the very near future adverts could be …
10. Gleaned from the Information in Your E-mail Inbox
It’s likely that every email you send is sent through one of three different services: Gmail, Outlook or Yahoo. Each one of those services has a “targeted advertising” scheme in place which uses the content of your emails to tailor adverts to you. So if there was ever an excuse to email hundreds of people about lingerie, it’s probably right now.
But that’s not all — Gmail recently implemented a new scheme, naturally buried in the small print of a recent update, saying they’re now allowed to spam the crap out of your inbox with ads. In a similar and equally annoying vein, Yahoo is essentially forcing people to accept this by slowly phasing out the older version of their service, effectively meaning you have to either accept Yahoo scanning through your emails, or stop using their service altogether.
9. There’s a Patent to Reward You for Watching Ads
The one good thing about ads is that you can ignore them. Ads on TV? Walk into another room and make a sandwich. Ads on YouTube? Just check Facebook, homie. But what about ads during a video game?
As weird as it sounds, considering the fact videogames are an active medium and they’ve never really had intrusive ads in them before, Microsoft have a patent on their new Xbox One console that could change that. The patent, which we can only describe as a mixture between terrifying and total bull (bullifying?), states that the Kinect feature of the new Xbox console could theoretically reward a person for sitting through an ad by straight up watching them stare blankly at the screen. Basically, advertisers have admitted that no one watches ads, and that having the patience to sit through them is now something to be commended.
Though the use of the word “reward” in there could fool you into thinking this sound like a positive thing, just realize that this means that adverts could, theoretically force you to interact with them. We’re guessing that telling your Xbox to do one isn’t going to count as “proper interaction,” but that’s not the only thing the Kinect can do with adverts. It can also …
8. Serve You Ads Based on Your Mood
The new Xbox One Kinect system is stupidly powerful, to the point where it can detect subtle changes in your posture and facial expression. How does this affect gaming, you ask? Who cares? All we know is that it can be used to gauge what kind of mood you’re in, and serve you ads accordingly.
In yet another patent filed by Microsoft, the new Kinect could theoretically be used to sense your emotional state and deliver ads accordingly. Be honest — after reading that, who here really wants to see what a sad targeted ad looks like? Now, we feel like we should point out this is a device people will be paying several hundred dollars for the right to put into their homes, and it has the capabilities to sell advertisers your emotions. Is nothing sacred anymore?
If that wasn’t creepy enough, the Kinect will also be smart enough to detect how many people are in a room and even who they are (if they have an Xbox). Meaning, you could go to your friend’s house and his Xbox would know how often you masturbated on his couch.
But hey, at least it isn’t insulting your intelligence. For that, you need to go to Facebook, for which Microsoft has a patent in the works that will …
7. Base the Ads You See on How Smart (They Think) You Are
Similar to the above example, Microsoft has yet another patent in the works that would allow it scan your Facebook posts and among other things, deduce your “background, mood, interests and even your level of education.” Now when you see people on your Wall who you think is really stupid because they can’t spell, it’s likely Facebook thinks so too.
We can’t say whether or not these people will now get nothing but adverts for dictionaries and STI clinics, but we can all hope. As fun as that sounds, how insulting is it that Microsoft thinks it can judge every little thing about you from what you post on Facebook. Jeez, we don’t post on it that much, do we?
But hey, it’s not like anyone is going to want to use Facebook after they implement …
6. Autoplaying Ads on Your Feed
Video ads that automatically play are probably one of the most infuriating things online. They’re annoying as hell, obnoxious, loud, and they always pop up when you have like 15 tabs open and can’t find the source of the pain. It gets to the point where you pray to every God ever created that you had a swan in front of you just so you had two feet of neck to strangle.
Well, pretty soon when you hear one you’ll know to just automatically log out of Facebook. As noted by Forbes, not only does Facebook have a patent to fill your newsfeed up with video ads, targeted based on whatever you post on Facebook of course, but they’ve also hinted that said ads may play automatically. Because if there’s one thing people need when using Facebook, it’s more things to not give a crap about and immediately report as spam.
But hey, we’ve picked on Facebook and Microsoft enough — Sony has some stuff up their sleeve too. For example, they may decide to implement …
5. Ads That Straight-Up Interrupt the Game You’re Playing
If you’re a gamer, you’re already living in a world where companies are shafting you for every extra penny, whether it’s through day-one DLC, shoddy rushed products that need patching immediately, or companies charging you for stuff that’s already on the disk.
Apparently Sony has also decided that people were sick of playing their $60 game uninterrupted. That’s the only excuse we could think of for why they’d patent a system which would allow them to pause the game you’re playing, and show you an advert. We don’t mean on the main menu or something, we mean they’ve actually got the patent for a system that could, if they wanted to, rip you out of a game to show you an ad for something you’ll likely never buy simply because it messed up your high score.
In a move that shows Sony really doesn’t understand games at all, the patent’s example is that of a racing game. You know, those games that require split-second timing? We better hope they never implement this, if only because we’ll raise hell if they ruined our Gran Turismo lap times by pausing the game half-way through a hairpin.
With all this talk of terrible ideas, we can’t leave out Apple, who just …
4. Patented a System to Put Ads Directly into Your Operating System
Like with e-mail services, it’s likely you only have one of a few operating systems on your computer. This, of course, leaves you massively open to whatever the hell big companies want to cram down your throat.
In this Apple patent, ads could be built directly into your computer’s operating system, and did we mention these ads could be unskippable? Because they totally will if Apple wants them to be, because screw you for paying $2000 for a Mac. Pay $2500 next time, cheapskate.
However, there’s obviously nothing to stop you from simply typing “screw you,” every time your iPad asks you which soda is the bomb. Be warned though, as the patent also has wording that would allow it to send a user “increasingly aggressive” adverts if they refuse to comply ON THE DEVICE THEY PAID FOR. In other words, Apple could potentially dictate how you act and punish you for not doing as they say. Wait, when did Apple adopt us again?
3. Google Glasses Could Charge Advertisers Based on Where You Look
Google Glass is likely going to be the future. In other words, it’s scary and no one really understands it. We say this because Google has filed — you guessed it — a heap of patents to turn you into a walking goldmine.
One such patent, tentatively called the “pay-per-gaze” feature, would essentially track the adverts you actually paid attention to, and allow Google to charge companies based on the results. Again, we want to point out this is a device people are going to be paying to stick on their actual faces.
But the deeper, more troubling information to be gleaned from this is that the glasses will effectively track your eyeballs and sell the information on to companies. Did you honestly think you’d wake up this morning and discover that you’re living in a world where selling the movements of people’s eyes would be something a company would be investing money into?
But hey, at least you can watch YouTube, right? Well, here’s the thing …
2. YouTube Ads Could Force You to Interact with Them
Earlier this year, Virgin Media ran a trial service called Blinkwashing. This allowed you, a computer user, to download a piece of software that would let Virgin watch you through your webcam. Then, via that same webcam, it would track the movement of your eyes and body.
Though this was little more than a stunt to show off the technology, just think for a second. This is a piece of software that can seemlessly integrate with your computer, track what your body and eyes do, and reward you for complying with on-screen commands (and presumably punish you for not doing so.) In the near future, you could be robbed of the single greatest feeling ever: opening four YouTube windows at once, and watching Adele sing with three Freddy Mercurys.
But hey, if you don’t want ads, you could always …
1. Pay to Get Rid of Them
Yep, this right here folks is the future. Facebook has a patent that would let you opt out of all their advertising, but it’s gonna cost ya. Though the cost of such a service, or whether it will even be implemented, isn’t clear, we think it’s quite telling that Facebook would patent annoying, insulting, and downright intrusive advertising measures and the ability to opt out of them for a pretty penny, in the same exact year.
Though to be fair, it’s quite the devilish scheme: cripple a service with adverts, then offer people a way to eliminate them, for a price of course. It’s like the mob sending a guy to break your legs, then charging you for protection from any future leg-breakings. We’d say it was genius, but we’re honestly miffed that we didn’t think of it first.