As if big corporations aren’t reminiscent enough of the Orwellian Big Brother their newest endeavor is an attempt to use our physiological characteristics to market items specific to each individual. Things such as heart rate, oxygen levels, glucose levels and even body temperature will be used to promote products and services in the future. Let me elaborate as to why this is terrifying: future marketing intends to manipulate us on a biological level.
You’re commuting to work listening to a fascinating podcast about a speculative hypothesis regarding the auditory signature of dinosaur flatulence. Suddenly your stomach growls and the podcasts cuts to an ad about McDonald’s newest artery destroying quadruple bacon cheeseburger. Why do you think that happened? It’s simple really: your smart watch detected that you were hungry (by reading the drop in your blood sugar), your smart-watch informed your phone and your phone informed the advertisement program integrated into your streaming music app. OK, maybe not super simple.
Biometric Marketing is Pervy too
You’re sitting on your couch with your significant other or yourself and suddenly a hot and heavy sex scene comes on the screen, and you get a tad bit excited. Using a camera on the television or game console in front of you to measure pupil dilation, your smart-watch to track hormone secretion, increase in blood pressure and heart rate, your movie will know you are aroused. Yes the new Matthew McConaughey movie is winking at you going: “all right, all right, all right.” Adding insult to injury it knows that you are single and shows you and ad for an online dating service and the latest hamburger stuffed crust pizza. [whispering] It knows you eat your emotions….
Biometric Marketing is a stalker
If you doubt me let me just say this: GPS enabled everything. Yes, from your phone, tablet and smart-watches to things as asinine as bras have been GPS enabled in recent years. Traveling for business or pleasure? Well then companies will be able to promote service available specifically in the area or geographic location. Now the advertising company knows you’re hungry, horny and away from home. The Starburst Gentleman’s club that features a free buffet is just a block away according to the ad your smartphone had you listen to while you called your mom.
It’s not all bad
The potential of this technology though could revolutionize many different aspects of our lives. Do you have a fear of dentists? Well how about some soothing Kenny G while you sit and wait to get a root canal? Playing the latest horror/ survival video game? What if that zombie elephant chooses the optimal moment to jump out at you and bring you 2 bpms away from a heart attack. You have a health issue that needs constant monitoring? You won’t have to stay in the hospital for observation, the medical professional will be able to send you home and still have real time data regarding your physiology.
Do you think that biometrics and marketing will create an omnipotent all-seeing corporate God that will make us buy impulsively? Or do you think that companies will use this technology ethically and with respect to the consumer? [uproarious laughter]