Facebook is introducing adverts to Oculus headsets, using your personal biometric and voice data to target you as specifically as possible.
Sometimes it can feel like there are adverts staring back at you from everywhere, no matter where you look. That’s going to be even more true if you happen to own an Oculus VR headset, because Facebook (which owns the brand) has announced that it will introduce adverts right before your eyes – so now there’s truly no escape!
In an official blog post, Facebook announced a fairly innocuous-sounding “small test of in-headset ads” as an “experiment”. While the social media giant stated that its goals with Oculus are to “bring more people into VR, advance the consumer experience, and make progress on our longer-term augmented reality initiatives”, it wasn’t coy about the main reason for the change: “we’re also exploring new ways for developers to generate revenue”. Quelle surprise.
However, aside from the irritation of having adverts popping up in front of your eyes like you’re in Mark Zuckerberg’s very own version of A Clockwork Orange, it’s the manner about which Facebook will create the adverts that is perhaps even more dystopian.
According to Ars Technica, the adverts will be highly targeted and based on personal data from the following sources:
- Personal data provided to Oculus Move, a pre-installed fitness programme, including details such as weight, gender, and height
- Precise movement data from the device, from which highly accurate biometric measurements can be taken in just minutes
- The content of your conversations on Messenger, and any chats or interactions you’ve had while using Oculus
Since Oculus’ acquisition by Facebook in 2014 the virtual reality brand has been increasingly subsumed by the tech behemoth, to such an extent that you actually require a Facebook account to make any of its new hardware work. That’s enough to make you sick, even if the nausea-inducing VR doesn’t do that all by itself.