Did your hear that Philips, a.k.a., Royal Philips Electronics of the Netherlands, has filed for a patent on technology that will force televisions viewers to watch commercials! You can read about it here, but in summary, the technology will allow broadcasters to freeze a channel while a commercial is playing! Apparently Philips knew this probably wouldn’t be popular with viewers–you think?!–so they suggested in their patent application "that consumers be allowed to avoid the feature if they paid broadcasters a fee." HELLO?
Excuse me but I consider it my RIGHT to decide which, if any, commercials I watch. It’s the right of the individual companies to decide whether they buy commercial air time. It’s their right, within limits, to decide what to do with their air time. But it is my right to decide what to watch–whether we’re talking commercials or TV shows. I choose; not them!
And if this goes through, what’s next? Think about it! Will TVs of the future come with force fields? Broadcasters could activate the force field during commercials so viewers can’t leave the room for the bathroom, a snack, a phone call, or a breath of air! Couch potatoes become couch prisoners.
And what about other advertising venues?
- Will cars of the future pick up a signal from highway billboards and project the image onto the windshield forcing the driver to look at it? (Safety is of no concern remember, we’re talking advertising!)
- Will Internet pages load ads one at at time followed by multiple-choice questions making sure the ad was read before the content of the page displays?
- Will movie theaters show even more commercials and then refuse to start the movie until a predetermined percentage of viewers buy an advertised product?
- Will newspapers use special ink that will transfer the ads to the clothing of the reader? Personals takes on a whole new meaning, hmm?
Even if Philips backs off this idea, they’ve planted the seed by showing (apparently) that it can be done. Thanks a lot! I for one won’t be purchasing any Philips products; who knows what other sneaky technologies they’ve included!