Google and Microsoft seem to be in a competition to decide which company can come up with the most creepy and invasive new consumer technology. Marketing Land reports that the United States Patent and Trademark Office has approved a Google patent filing for so-called “pay-per-gaze” technology that will help marketing firms track users’ emotional responses to advertisements. The new technology, which seems like it’s a perfect fit for Google Glass, will have a camera that focussed on a user’s face and will record their reactions to various advertisements they see. And this feature won’t just be limited to ads that users see on their headsets — it will also track their responses to television ads, billboards, magazine ads and more. Essentially, wherever there’s an ad, Google will try to watch your emotional reactions to it and sell anonymized data based on those reactions to advertisers.
Google would apparently give its users the ability to opt out of having all of their facial expressions tracked all the time, although the company hasn’t specified whether facial tracking would be a default setting or not. The “pay-per-gaze” technology sounds very similar to a program that Microsoft has reportedly been working on where users will get rewards for watching a certain number of ads while letting the upcoming Xbox One’s Kinect sensor record their reactions.