With New Face-Scanning Technology, Movies Will Soon Watch You While You Watch Them

For a few years, certain theaters have had cameras watching for the infrared signature of bootleggers’ cameras. But why waste all the untapped market research potential of these cameras? Aralia Systems, a British security firm, has just received a $350,000 grant to use the system to gather data from audiences.

The cameras will illuminate the audience with infrared and create 3-D stereoscopic images of the audience. Using facial recognition technology, they will know which way you’re facing, if you’re surprised or just bored, even if you came to the movie with friends or solo. Advertisers will use the data to determine if they’re getting through to you or not, and adjust ads accordingly. The technology could also be a boon to movie studios running test screenings – why ask how you felt about the film if they can just see for themselves?

Fast Company