Philips wants to force ads down viewers’ throats

Philips is working very hard these days to piss off consumers, as acknowledged by one one of their recent patent applications. Odd thing, you think, for a consumer electronics company to create technology to disenfranchise and piss off consumers? Seems disingenuous? Yet, this seems to represent a new industry trend. Consider the recent whooping Sony received over its bungled attempts to impose its will on consumers. Now Philips is handing consumer-rights lawyers this little gem:

If a new idea from Philips catches on, the company may not be very popular with TV viewers. The company’s labs in Eindhoven, The Netherlands, has been cooking up a way to stop people changing channels to avoid adverts or fast forwarding through ads they have recorded along with their target programme.
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Philips suggests adding flags to commercial breaks to stop a viewer from changing channels until the adverts are over. The flags could also be recognised by digital video recorders, which would then disable the fast forward control while the ads are playing.
Invention: The TV-advert enforcer, Barry Fox, NewScientist.com news service, 18 April 2006
(via Slashdot)

Now that’s what I call a challenge to the marketing department. Can’t wait to see Philips spin this technology to consumers. Maybe they’ll collaborate with La-Z-Boy and create a recliner chair that will strap you in and force your eyelids open while ads are on during the Superbowl. Thank god I don’t have cable TV.

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