Your VR device may be watching your ever emotion and sending the data back to the images provider. Where you focus your eyes, the features on your face, and your micro responses to stimuli can be collected and used to target you as a consumer.
VR products like Oculus Rift are also well-positioned to be used for a burgeoning field known as emotion detection, particularly when paired with sensors used to map real-life body movements to a virtual world. Yotta Technologies, a VR company based in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, claims its platform can detect a user’s emotional state using an array of sensors mounted to a VR headset, reading microexpressions by tracking eye and muscle movements in the face. A benefit to end users is that such information can be used to give their VR avatars facial expressions that mirror their own. Speaking with Fusion, the company’s founder said that the company’s primary goal is to “unlock human emotion.” That goal is shared by Affectiva, an MIT spin-off company that offers “emotion detection as a service,” allowing clients to mine images and video feeds from webcams for emotional data revealing how peoples’ faces subtly react to certain cues.
Are you sure you want to reveal this much information about your very personal preferences? Would you want this information collected on your children, your daughter, your helpmate, mother? This evasive data collection could put a big damper on the broad adoption of VR devices.