Kinect wants to come to your emotional rescue

Microsoft's sensing tech will soon, according to a patent application, be able to serve you ads according to your mood swings. Yes, we know you're miserable, so try Xanax. Or, perhaps, Johnny Walker.

Will she be served champagne ads? Or valium ads? Screenshot: Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

You know the future isn't going to be all that, don't you?

There might, though, be certain things that will uplift you beyond measure. I now wish to live at least another 50 years, so that I can experience the new potential of Microsoft's Kinect.

For sometime in the future, Kinect is going to start knowing exactly how I'm feeling. Indeed, Microsoft has filed a patent application that promises this during Kinect play: "Online activities for users are obtained and processed to assign emotional states to the users."

Kinect is going to care. Kinect is going to really feel me.

This is such a breakthrough that I can hardly prevent myself from reaching for champagne. At last, a technology whose sole purpose is to take account of my mood.

But then I read the small print, helpfully made large by the New Scientist. For it may well be that Microsoft doesn't care about me as much as I had hoped. It doesn't want to serve me succor in times of need.

Instead, it wants to serve me ads that reflect my feelings.

Yes, should I be playing with my Kinect when I'm feeling blue, up may pop an ad that suggests I pop a Xanax. Should I be feeling like the King of the World, an ad may nudge me to order a DVD of "Titanic."

The possibilities are, indeed, bottomless.

Presumably, the game itself will affect my emotions, so the technology will have to work very quickly to continually reassess what's going on in my subconscious.

Humans are fickle. One can imagine vast numbers of lawsuits from those who were devastated at losing some silly virtual tennis match and were suddenly offered an Groupon for an anger management class.

 

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