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Brutal Startup Is Using Eye Tracking to Force You to Watch Ads

It's basically like "A Clockwork Orange."

Dan RobitzskiMarch 22nd 2019

Eyes Up Here

The founder of MoviePass is back, and this time he’s not messing around.

MoviePass co-founder Stacy Spikes has a new startup called PreShow, and it’s using a business model straight out of “A Clockwork Orange”: The company’s new app helps you score free movie tickets — as long as you sit through 15 to 20 minutes of advertisements that use eye-tracking technology to make sure you don’t look away.

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Unlike YouTube ads, which can be skipped after a few seconds or blocked with a third-party extension, PreShow demands your attention. To use the app, according to Engadgetyou have to sign in with Apple’s FaceID. And you can’t just walk away or let your attention wander — the app watches you to make sure you’re paying attention.

To earn the movie tickets, you have to keep your gaze in frame, and look at your screen for the entire duration of the ads. Look away, or put your phone down, and a red border appears, pausing the ads until you give in and return.

Dystopia-Lite

Spikes says he doesn’t plan on licensing the ad-pushing technology anywhere outside of PreShow, Engadget reports.

But that doesn’t mean executives don’t plan to cash out. Right now, the app is still gathering backers via a Kickstarter. Once it’s released, it’s possible that the app — which, again, forces people to watch a TV-episode length slew of advertisements — could be available only through a monthly subscription.

READ MORE: MoviePass founder’s next big idea: Free movie tickets for watching ads [Engadget]

More on cinema: Hollywood is Wrong: Netflix is the Future of Film

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