Behind Winston’s back the voice from the telescreen was still babbling away about pig-iron and the overfulfilment of the Ninth Three-Year Plan. The telescreen received and transmitted simultaneously. Any sound that Winston made, above the level of a very low whisper, would be picked up by it, moreover, so long as he remained within the field of vision which the metal plaque commanded, he could be seen as well as heard. There was of course no way of knowing whether you were being watched at any given moment. 1984, George Orwell
Here’s a funny one from the Wall Street Journal.
The newspaper said that when Sony launches its new 3D television around the middle of this year, it will sense when a kid gets closer than a metre to the screen and if it does so will black out the screen and show a message telling your child to take a hike.
It’s assuming a child can read a message, obviously.
The Journal said that the TV will include a sensor and can tell whether the individual getting close to the screen is a child or an adult.
If it’s an adult, the screen won’t display the message, although surely it should say something like “get your eyes tested, old timer”.
The sensor can also do spooky things like tell how many people are watching the screen. If there’s only one of you, but you’re not directly in front of the set, it will apparently swivel the sound in your direction.
But surely Sony could take this a lot further, and include sensors to monitor your blood pressure and heart rate? If you get too excited, perhaps it could tell you to go take a Prozac or get your defibrillator ready.
And if you’re doing something naughty in front of the 3D TV, perhaps it could also tell you off if you’re under 18 or over 60. And take snaps of you which it could send “home”.
CCTVs round George Orwell’s yard