Cinemas could force you to watch ads – by tracking your eyeballs with AI

Film fans will soon be forced to pay attention to the ads or risk losing their ticket discounts.

A relaunched version of the streaming site MoviePass will use AI eyeball tracking technology to make sure its users are all watching its ads, in exchange for discounts and free movie tickets.

Viewers will be 'treated' to an advertiser 'pre-show' made up of different ads. A mobile app on smartphones will then use selfie cameras and facial recognition tech to check you're engaging with the ads, and not just sitting in front of them.

If you look away from the ads, they will pause until you go back to watching them.

“As I’m looking at it, it’s playing back. But if I stop and I’m not paying attention to it, it actually pauses the content,” MoviePass CEO Stacy Spikes said while watching an ad during a presentation. “We had an early version of this where you know what happened. People put the phone down and left and didn’t pay any attention to it.

"Right now 70 percent of video advertising is unseen. This is a way that advertisers get the impact they’re looking for but you’re also getting the impact yourself.”

If you watch enough ads, it will generate a digital currency to a virtual wallet which can then be spent on films at the cinema.

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In the future, MoviePass will make it possible for people to buy products advertised for them directly through the app to get more credits for films. The new tech is set to launch in summer.

MoviePass, which was founded in 2011, went bankrupt in 2019 after offering people a movie ticket per day for £7.40 per month.

The film tickets were issued using a special debit card that could be used at the cinema 30 minutes before a screening. However, it did not work at IMAX or in 3D.

  • Artificial Intelligence

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