Eye-tracking devices will read your thoughts

The way you read things offers a lot of information about who you are. Blinking, the dilation of pupils, settling on a word for a fraction of a second longer–it all means something. And to marketers who are trying to understand what consumers want, eye-tracking devices might be key.

A few companies are developing applications to attach eye-tracking devices to computers and smartphones to bring this technology into the mainstream market.

Apple has already filed a patent for a 3-D eye-tracking user interface for use in iPhones and iPads. And the European company Senseyeplans on installing eye-tracking software in smartphones next year.

Slate reports:

“This information will be collected, analyzed and resold to hundreds of companies–advertisers, data analytics providers, and others–across the digital ecosystem in what the industry calls the ‘mobile marketing value chain.’ In theory, they will be anonymous, ‘nonpersonal’ data. But, in practice, the anonymity will be easy to penetrate.”

Of course, there are privacy concerns. By now, we’re all too familiar with companies collecting data without our consent. Facebook, Google and Twitter have all done it. But there never seemed to be any dire repercussions for those transgressions.

Slate’s John Villasenor says: “Today, when we read something online, our thoughts are still our own. We should enjoy it while it lasts.”

Eye-Tracking Computers Will Read Your Thoughts  [Slate]

Photo via flickr/Mikleman

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