In the future, advertising might know what people want before even they do. Advertisements will scan passers-by and based on a store of data will be able to modulate themselves to target individuals. As the sharing of personal information spreads, the focus of advertising is becoming much more precise and intrusive. Advertisers are acquiring much of what is shared on the web in many ways, and often times through transactions where services are exchanged for the disclosure of personal information. Information becomes currency in the digital era.
A report by the Center For Future Studies imagines that this transformation in advertising is not too far off. In fact, a Japanese based company, NEC has already created age- and gender-guessing advertisements that are tailored to that data. This type of advertising is already being called a “Gladvert” and it is characterized by a technology that will be able to read a person’s emotions.
With such a wealth of personal data available so easily, it’s difficult to imagine that it wouldn’t be utilized by advertisers. Social media in many cases is practically defined by users’ indifference to sharing as much about themselves as possible. However, such pervasive advertising could reveal the drawbacks of revealing so much in the future. While detractors see the technology as endangering privacy, supports see it as providing a more interactive experience.