Long gone are the days when “don’t take it personally” was an applicable phrase for someone who has seen an advertisement. Everything about the new patent Microsoft filed for its Xbox Kinect is personal.
The company plans to take advertising to the next level. The product is said to read your emotions and body language and then pick an advertisement that is right for you. Creepy, right? Gamers may be able to look forward to the newest form of ad personalization with Xbox 360’s Kinect advertising.
The patent discusses the possible types of advertising that will occur, including why certain types of advertising don’t work. For example, it states that weight loss programs won’t sell to someone who is really happy. So, if you’re having a bad day and think, “Hey, I’m going to cheer myself up with the Kinect!,” it’s probably not the best idea because the ads might tell you that it’s time to lose some weight, or worse. Because the ads feed into one’s emotions, an upset player will no doubt receive advertisements feeding into their self-worth. Happier players might be targeted with ads about parties or clubs.
Even stranger, all facial emotion and body language will be recorded and saved in the Kinect server if the patent is successful, so as to determine what is “happy” and what is “sad” for you, personally. As if it wasn’t already weird that the Kinect sensor shows you on your own screen and saves recordings of you playing in some games.
This opens the door to a whole new spectrum of advertising and marketing. Bringing emotion into the equation is certainly innovative and it’s interesting to think about how this idea may evolve. Will our mobile devices soon hear our emotions as we speak and advertise based on our voice tones? Will the cameras on our computers and laptops watch us and target us through our facial expressions alone?
Only time will tell. But, I do know that I will be extra cautious when the Kinect camera is watching me.