Next up: your webcam sharing your mood with advertisers

It almost seems inevitable given the growing ubiquitousness of webcams and the ability of software to detect facial movements but the idea that they could be used to gauge your emotional response to advertising on websites is more than spooky.

However this is exactly what a London-based company called Realeyes is working on with some real success apparently. The system they have developed uses the webcam that is now standard fair on computers with emotional analysis software.

The system is able to gauge a person’s mood by plotting the position of facial features says founder Mihkel Jäätma and by employing algorithms to track the change of eyebrow, mouth, or nostril alignment they can calculate the mood of the person being observed. Now add eye-movement tracking and the system will be able to tell which display ads were overlooked or which were studied for any period of time.

Right now the system is under-going testing with sites built specifically for the tracking system but plans are underway to incorporate the technology with existing display ad systems, which will of course raise privacy concerns.

Another interesting use for webcams is coming from Philips which has developed a vital-signs camera system which can be used to detect and measure things like our heart and respiration rates with extreme accuracy. The company is in the process of building out a contactless system that will enable hospitals to keep a virtual eye on patients.

via The Economist