Google was recently granted a patent for an ad system that would work with its Google Glass virtual reality eyeglasses by generating advertising revenue for gazes instead clicks. Referred to as “pay-per-gaze,” the system would charge advertisers each time a person simply laid eyes on an ad. Since Google Glass is considered to be a leading influencer among the tech set, Mashable.com editor Chris Taylor posted an op-ed article that pondered whether this paid advertising platform based on generating gazes would redefine the future of digital advertising.
While the patent doesn’t specifically refer to Google Glass, it alludes to the system in its description of a head-mounted gaze-tracking device. The patent is for a proprietary gaze-tracking technique that would be implemented when a head-mounted gaze-tracking device detected that a person had looked at an ad. The tracking device would be able to register the number of times and the length of time that a person’s pupils had gazed in an ad’s direction.
While the concept makes sense and would certainly make money, Mr. Taylor’s op-ed article contemplated how Google could evolve this paid advertising system. First, he contended that Google could attribute consumer interest to each gaze, which may entice advertisers to get involved in order to generate tangible interest in their brand.
Then, he asserted that Google could add an up charge when the gaze-tracking device detected that a person’s pupils had dilated upon viewing an ad. After all, this pupil dilation is a sign of emotion and an emotional response is what advertisers covet.
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While Mr. Taylor’s opinions are his own and not necessary shared by Mashable.com, he may not be far off since Google’s patent specifically mentions the link between pupil dilation and emotional states, as well as how easy it is for a camera to capture this occurrence.
Mr. Taylor went on to speculate how this augmented advertising could be considered a form of marketing mindreading. Yet Google may be able to give this concept a positive spin as the ultimate in convenience. Consumers could simply think about what they want and have their thoughts translated as requests to the businesses that could fulfill them.
Only time will tell how Google proceeds with its patented pay-per-gaze system, yet the world will be watching to see how it evolves.
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