From NSA backdoors and fingerprint leaks, to being the Illuminati and Alien allies (yeah, just Google it!), Apple has been accused of conspiracies of all kinds. And with the release of the new Apple Watch, this post appeared on CannyVision, which looks really crazy at first, but when you think about it, well… it’s still a bit crazy, but surely possible.
The post accuses that Apple will be using its Apple Watch to track users’ emotions. Since the watch can get your heart beat, it can detect the variations in its rate, which is indeed a basic way to measure your feelings.
One of the primary means of monitoring physiological signs for capturing emotions (fear, happiness, stress, etc.) is to detect the blood volume pulse – the volume of blood flowing through your extremities. By shining infrared light and measuring the reflected proportion, one can detect the blood volume flowing during various segments of your pulse. Guess what kind of a sensor the Watch has.
Why emotions you ask?
The author believes that emotion tracking will be the ultimate form of ad-targeting in the future. Your watch knows how you react to various notifications, news, Facebook stories, messages, mails, ads, music, movies and pretty much everything digital, as long as it happens on your iPhone and the Apple Watch is on your wrist.
With this information, Apple algorithms can create an interest profile for each individual and target ads likewise, resulting in a higher number of conversions.
For example, they would know your response to horror movies – and whether you sleep well after you see one. Netflix on iOS would probably be able to predict the best movie to watch by gauging the emotional histories of a bunch of friends.
The author even goes on to say that Google could be trying to do the same with their Glass. And we all know the story of Facebook manipulating the news feed to control emotions. According to CannyVision, this is the reason why Apple found is necessary to hastily announce the Apple Watch, a new product which is only to be available at a later date, instead of unveiling the next Apple TV which hasn’t been refreshed in over 2 years.
In fact, I believe this is why Apple prioritized the Watch over the TV. Or why they didn’t compete with Google to build their version of Glass. Because the path of least resistance to truly mainstream Affective Computing lies through the Watch. (Affective Computing is the study of how interaction affects systems and vice versa at an emotional level – essentially influencing machines with your emotions, and being influenced by machines emotionally).
As crazy as it may sound, the author says that such a scenario is quite possible and that this sort of encroachment into user privacy would be inevitable in the future, even if it is a little late.
… now think about a TV which knew your emotional state. The Apple TV. We know why that hasn’t come out yet, because it’ll be all the cooler with the Watch on your wrist.