According to TorrentFreak, video surveillance firm Aralia Systems recently received a grant worth more than £215,000 from the Machine Vision Lab of the University of the West of England to build elaborate piracy tracking equipment. Aralia already offers a basic solution that uses infrared light beams to detect camcorders and notify theater employees, but the goal is to implement analytics software that can read people's physical reactions and emotions.
"We want to devise instruments that will be capable of collecting data that can be used by cinemas to monitor audience reactions to films and adverts and also to gather data about attention and audience movement," said Dr. Abdul Farooq of the Machine Vision Lab. "We will use 2D cameras to detect emotion but will also collect movement data through a 3D data measurement that will capture the audience as a whole texture," Dr. Farooq explained to TorrentFreak.
By analyzing the crowd's emotion, Dr. Farooq says the system will not only be able to detect camcording pirates, but it will gather valuable marketing information for the movie industry and advertisers. "Film companies and cinema advertising agencies can learn so much from their audiences that will help to inform creativity and strategy," he continued. Now, the question remains: will theaters require consent from viewers, and would you be comfortable even if they did?