Online instructional courses or web training can be boring. So that’s where any distraction ever comes in. Learning! But the online training company Mindflash is offering a new feature for their iPad services that ensures actual focus and participation. No reading Gizmodo allowed.
FocusAssist uses the iPad’s camera to track user eye movements. If users look away or close their eyes for more than a few seconds, the video pauses until they look back. Is it passive aggressive enough to work? The service might be creepy and invasive except that Mindflash says they don’t release individual data about which users were focused watchers and which required reinforcement. That way employers can’t hold boredom against people. So that’s cool. But yeah actually it’s definitely still creepy and invasive.
The technology was originally developed at Stanford to pick up on and track subtle eye movements and expression cues in patients with autism and Alzheimer’s disease. And the Samsung Galaxy S4 uses similar technology for a feature called “Smart Pause,” which exists for some reason. It’s everywhere.
People, it’s time to organise. If we don’t deal with this urgent threat these precious moments for catching up on XKCD or tweeting about how bored we are will be gone. [Bloomberg]