The Future is Watching
Big Brother or Big Business ?
As I and my wife walked into the store, we nervously looked around at the huge billboard that stood above the doorway. Its flashing lights and many camera's did not really stand out during the daylight, but at night stood out like a spaceship hovering above. You could not see the small light that scanned your eyes as you walked into a new technology, a new world.
As we entered the store the very first sign past the doorway stood out with the face of a woman in a light blue dress standing there as if she was a real person. It just did not seem possible that she was an illusion, a digital image of woman, a virtual hostess. She recognized us right away and said, Hi Michael and Penny, how are you today ? Do you want me to tell you what the specials are today ? Would you like me to give you a list of what you bought on your last visit ? Please visit our deli today if you are hungry.
This was very annoying when this technology of facial recognition first came out, but after a few visits we had learned to ignore her. We proceeded to walk through the store, but every aisle had her face following us on the hundreds of television screens that were positioned above each one of the aisles. Do need more sugar and cereal ? The woman's face on the screen said. I looked at my wife, I'm going to to get some soap and soda pops, I'll meet you in the checkout line, I told her as I moved down a different isle and she kept walking straight. Then i heard the woman say Michael, do you want to know which soaps are on sale, or do you want to buy your usual soap ?
I wasn't about to answer this television screen that had this womans face on it. It just seemed so silly to be talking to a television. I stopped and looked around at the people who were conversing with the televisions that were telling them about all the latest products and which were the best buys for them and what they had run out of, It was so surreal, people had accepted this facial recognition software that was prevelant in all the stores now. The introduction of this new technology had taken the world by storm and was accepted as easily as a new cell phone. The technology was everywhere, it had become commonplace. We had been warned that the government would soon be watching us and infringing on our right to privacy, but It wasn't Big Brother, that suddenly was the culprit, it was ourselves.
We had let big Business move right into our homes and into our living rooms with the appeal of how this technology would help make our lives so much more convienient. The advent of the smartphone had made this explode into the business sector with the idea that marketing was the lynch pin. The businesses were not being intrusive, for after all you were going into their store, where you had no expectation of privacy, you were out in public and had no expectation of privacy. the Supreme court had decided that this was so, and of course business had more money than the regular person so there was no invasion of privacy. Now we just had to live with it.
Michael, do you want to know which soda pop goes best with the barbeque products your wife penny is buying ? Wow, i said to myself .This damn screen is telling me what my wife is planning on this afternoon, I got to get out of here. Michael, I heard the television say, you had better get some sunscreen while you are on this side of the store, you don't want to get a sunburn while you are barbequeing. Ahh shut up, I heard my self say as I hurried down the next isle looking for my wife in the food section.
I wrote this hub after watching the news that that many businesses were prepared to start using the technology of eye and facial recognition software in their store This along with the process of information gathering over the internet together can be coming very soon. It's not Big Brother that we better watch out for , it is Big Business.