Say you’re walking down the street, or through a store or airport – and your mind is racing with thoughts about your life. Or your last conversation. Or the jiggling bottom of the woman ahead of you in that impossibly short summer skirt and skimpy top. Or a billboard advertisement.
Now your private emotions may not be private anymore when you are out and about in public. Your feelings can be “read” in real time if a special video camera catches your facial expression. That’s the assertion anyway of some German researchers. Advertisers are already dancing with glee.
Here how it (ostensibly) works in a first application under development at the Fraunhofer Institute for Integrated Circuits. A video camera records the crowd that passes an ad in a public place. Using algorithm-based software, the video can zero in on the faces, count the number of people observing the ad, distinguish between men and women and then analyze their expressions. Apparently the technology can register whether a man or woman looks happy or sad. The researchers are working on detection of other emotions including surprise and anger.
Worried about your privacy? The technology, researchers say, could also be used to detect driver alertness. That still seems like invading my space.