Movie theaters to use emotion-detecting anti-piracy cameras

Matthew DeCarlo

Posts: 5,271   +104

We often see reports of invasive security measures at airports, but TorrentFreak warns that movie theaters are increasingly guilty of trampling your privacy. Theaters already use metal detectors, night-vision goggles, as well as bag and body searches to catch camcording pirates with limited success, but most box office flicks still wind up on torrent sites in cam-form. That being the case, the movie industry is endlessly pursuing new ways to stop people from capturing films in-theater, and it may have found a solution: emotion-detecting cameras.

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?

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Richy2k9

Posts: 513   +0
hello ...

this is bad for privacy, for now someone will eventually know (with proof) that you weren't at work / school or sick & were at a local theater :p

yet i appreciate all effort in decreasing piracy.

cheers!
 

SNGX1275

Posts: 10,612   +463
I go to a movie to watch, not be watched. Don't they gather enough information about what viewers like based on box office returns and later dvd/bluray sales?

I think the theater in my town is too small to draw this kind of technology, but if I lived in a big city and the one nearest me used this, and one a few minutes further away didn't, I think I'd go to the one that didn't just out of principle.

hello ...

this is bad for privacy, for now someone will eventually know (with proof) that you weren't at work / school or sick & were at a local theater :p

yet i appreciate all effort in decreasing piracy.

cheers!
The cameras detecting emotion aren't using emotion to fight piracy. If its even the same camera... The piracy ones use infrared to detect cameras. They could easily use that and leave out the emotion detection.

The headline and first paragraph (all you see if you view news from the forums) are a bit misleading as to what is said in the rest of the article.
 
personally i see this failing and rather than wasting money into a system which in my opinoin wont work, actually put the money towards enfourcing current anti piracy methods
 

mikeusru

Posts: 50   +0
I'm getting more and more used to the fact that i am monitored everywhere I go, but for some reason, this is extra creepy even to me. And emotion detection for piracy? really? This seems like a lot of money to spend for a system that be circumvented by... actually watching the movie while you're recording it. Oh, and I can already see the false positives...
"Sir, our cameras show that you did not cry when jack the puppy died. Care to explain yourself?"
"...what?"
 

JMMD

Posts: 840   +7
I'm fine with them using it for marketing purposes as long as they notify me ahead of time and pay me to watch the movie. If I'm being used for their financial gain, I'd like a piece of the pie dammit!
 

gnarph

Posts: 8   +0
This seems more frightening simply as the movies are watching you. I would think that the pirates are a secondary benefit and the theaters just want to know what you're thinking/feeling.

I prefer to be the one doing the watching at movies.
 
G

Guest

sounds like a multimuliion dallar waste of time. a bunch of bullshit. I never download the prated cam versions anyway. Only the dvd screeners, which are all over the internet. Even after they watermarked them digitally to prevent piracy. You can see that worked well ;-)
 

SNGX1275

Posts: 10,612   +463
This seems like a lot of money to spend for a system that be circumvented by... actually watching the movie while you're recording it. Oh, and I can already see the false positives...
The cameras don't watch your emotions to tell if you are recording it. Like I said earlier, if you only read the headline and first paragraph it makes it sound like that, but that isn't the case.
 

Relic

Posts: 1,372   +17
jmmd said:
I'm fine with them using it for marketing purposes as long as they notify me ahead of time and pay me to watch the movie. If I'm being used for their financial gain, I'd like a piece of the pie dammit!

More like we get free movie viewings since they want to study our reactions :) .

But seriously I have no interest in my emotional reactions being used as a "marketing tool" for some advertising & film industry. And trying to throw in the piracy argument to justify this is pretty ridiculous, especially when they already have tools to combat it. On top of the fact that cam recordings are usually of poorer quality and it's the leaked movies & screenings that are popular. Oh well, guess I'll be saving money if this comes to a theater near me :) .
 

KG363

Posts: 526   +15
people actually watch cam movies? I tried once but the quality put me off. I'd rather pay
 

9Nails

Posts: 1,215   +177
All this security isn't free. It's going to be yet another reason for them to hike the price of my movie ticket. And that's just one more sale that they'll lose.

I do understand anti-piracy, but I don't understand why they treat everybody as a pirate. I'm not a criminal and I don't enjoy being treated as one. Why can't they use some other tracking method such as a code in the film to track where the bootleg copy came from?
 

klepto12

Posts: 1,116   +13
i for one have never watched a cam movie off of a torrent site lets see a low quality piece of crap that is probably to dark to see anything versus waiting till the dvd comes out ill pick the DVD thank you very much. Im not to hyped about the movie industry recording me while im in the movie that just seems like privacy invasion. This is the wrong way to go to beat piracy seems like it wont do much in the way of deterring pirates.
 

captaincranky

Posts: 19,162   +8,307
"Emotion-detecting anti-piracy cameras", huh?

Neat O, they should combine this with a methane sniffer, so we'd actually know who it really was that just farted. :haha:

Oh, oh, my mood ring just turned brown, what does that mean"?
 

red1776

Posts: 5,124   +194
captaincranky said:
"Emotion-detecting anti-piracy cameras", huh?

Neat O, they should combine this with a methane sniffer, so we'd actually know who it really was that just farted. :haha:

Oh, oh, my mood ring just turned brown, what does that mean"?
Mine went gray in the early 90's..and never went back on.
 

treeski

Posts: 1,007   +249
Wow I am so not okay with having my emotions and movements analyzed while watching a movie. I seriously hope this kind of technology does not enter the US markets and... theaters.
 

aj_the_kidd

Posts: 555   +0
SNGX1275 said:
I go to a movie to watch, not be watched.
Agreed. Its kinda creepy thinking someone will be watching you whilst you watch a movie not to mention they will also be detecting how i feel at the time.
 

Adhmuz

Posts: 2,275   +1,097
Why do people get so offended when some body tells them they are being analyzed by cameras? I really don't get it, if this does stop piracy in theaters good. Watch me watch your stupid movie, see what I care, literally, I spend a good 8 hours of my day being watched by security cameras where I work, don't care. Its even funny to watch sometimes. Creepy Schmeepy (<- Good Word) get use to it, its only getting more and more common. Think about it, do you have anything to hide?
 

captaincranky

Posts: 19,162   +8,307
Why do people get so offended when some body tells them they are being analyzed by cameras? I really don't get it, if this does stop piracy in theaters good. Watch me watch your stupid movie, see what I care, literally, I spend a good 8 hours of my day being watched by security cameras where I work, don't care. Its even funny to watch sometimes. Creepy Schmeepy (<- Good Word) get use to it, its only getting more and more common. Think about it, do you have anything to hide?
In this case, it's not the invasion of privacy, as much as the fact that you're essentially working for nothing. If you want me in your focus group, at least treat me to a free ticket.
 

ViNCiLiCiouS

Posts: 30   +1
like everyone else, i think this is ridiculously hilarious.

huge waste of time and money. the quality of the data returned about the audience should be nonconclusive and difficult to decipher. infrared scannings of facial expressions for an audience of multiple dozens? are you guys kidding me...

also the whole cam aversion thing is foolish. CAM quality is horrible, and any movie worth seeing would be seen in theaters and not on CAM. if youre somewhere with internet and a computer, it shouldnt be too difficult to find a theater (unless youre tethered to your phone... oh boy lets not even get there).

in reality the blu-ray rips are a much greater threat. they bite deeply in home media sales. rips have much more flexibility and functionality. custom shaders / subtitle styles / detailed speaker setup, etc.etc.
 

captaincranky

Posts: 19,162   +8,307
also the whole cam aversion thing is foolish. CAM quality is horrible, and any movie worth seeing would be seen in theaters and not on CAM. if youre somewhere with internet and a computer, it shouldnt be too difficult to find a theater (unless youre tethered to your phone... oh boy lets not even get there)

Believe it or not, there are people that buy cam movie rips on the basis that they're illegal. The matter of having something before you're entitled to it, seems to be it's own reason and end. Quality doesn't enter into this dynamic. It could be total crap, but as long as it's illegal, and you're the first kid on your block to have it, it's golden.

Me, I wait for the real DVD, (and then some).
 

red1776

Posts: 5,124   +194
Think about it, do you have anything to hide?
Ad,
I hope you don't have that attitude when it comes to the government, say the police walking into your house to 'have a look around'.
...and yes...I have quite a lot to hide :p:wave: