Science-fiction writers have often been eerily prescient in their depictions of the future. Atomic submarines, trips to the moon, communication satellites in geosynchronous orbit, many and varied are the wonders of technology that first appeared in the pages of someone’s sci-fi story.
However, not all the predictions are happy ones. Especially when it comes to advertising technology, the future often appears to be a grim place. In the classic novel The Space Merchants, we are given a view of a world where advertising runs amok. Ads are everywhere, and advertising agencies control the lives of the citizens.
In the film “The Minority Report”, slick and updated versions of futuristic billboards incorporate retina-scanning technology, so they can display ads based on your individual purchase history.
And it’s not science fiction to realize that advertisers are more and more aggressively utilizing every available space, every possible delivery medium, as I’ve recently mentioned here.
So it should come as no surprise that some enterprising company has embraced the future, and developed a technology that lets them beam advertising directly into your head.
No, I’m not making this up. I wish I was.
Right now, folks walking down Prince Street in SoHo are liable to suddenly start hearing an ad for A&E’s series Paranormal, inside their heads. This is thanks to a technology that permits an advertiser to transmit an “audio spotlight” from a distant speaker so that the sound is heard within your cranium.
So, anyone that walks through the “spotlight” has to hear the ad.
Does this frighten anyone else?
Thanks to my favorite dystopian, Warren Ellis, for the link