of The Minority Report & Why We Should Care

8 Nov

A week ago, the entire class watched The Minority Report for New Communications Technology (NCT).

Needless to say, it was an interesting movie. I wouldn’t call it enjoyable because I’m not one for these kinds of movies (read: the kind of movies that involve Tom Cruise) but it was alright.

The Minority Report revolves around Tom Cruise’s character, who is the captain of the Precrime precinct, a subdivision which possesses the technology and authority of preventing a murder before it happens. The system is propelled by three “Pre-cogs”; genetically-altered beings that have the ability to predict murders, and from their “visions”, Precrime is able to arrest the supposed murderer.

Sometime later, Tom Cruise’s character becomes a potential perpetrator as predicted by the “Pre-cogs” (try saying that really fast) and thus begins the race against time to prove his innocence.

But we’re not here to give you a movie review, we’re here to analyze the type of technology that was used in the movie.

The first type of technology we see is Augmented Reality, when Tom Cruise puts on a pair of cool black gloves and whips out a screen from thin air and starts organising information left and right, dropping them into places, shoving them to the back or enlarging certain parts.


Lo and behold – this kind of technology already exists!

Augmented Reality is slowly becoming a trend, and is already being utilised – to play games, card tricks, even to help a company advertise their latest car. While it is still in the beginning stages, we can definitely expect it to change the way we communicate in the near future.

This is another type of technology in the movie –

Through scanning his eyes, the ads are able to know his name and apply that into that advertisements, making it more personal. This is a good tactic for those who have businesses, because it is always easier to sell something if you can make it relate to the consumer.

On the other hand, I believe this technology crosses the boundary of privacy because sure, they might only know your names, but sooner or later the people behind these ads are going to want more than that, like what your marital status is, what you do for a living, how much your salary is so that they can better personalize the ad according to the person and I’m not ready to divulge my personal information randomly. The way I see it, technology is technology but there are certain boundaries that need to be respected, especially if it involves privacy and personal information.

Not shockingly, technology that mirrors the scene from the above video is already being developed by IBM, and you can find more information about it here.

“Engineers in Japan have already developed a billboard that is capable of identifying a shopper’s age and gender as they walk past to offer them products that are more accurately suited to them.

The signs, developed by Japanese electronics company NEC, use basic facial recognition software and cameras to determine if someone is male or female and their rough age range before showing an advert that matches their demographic.”

I think it’s safe to say that it wouldn’t be a surprise if we see the technology in Minority Report in our daily lives sooner rather than later.


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