November 16, 2018

Use HoloLens as Adblocker Is a Terrible Idea

 

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Report came from Wired News that a group of students from PennApps hackathon are toying the idea to use head mounted devices as a adblocker, called “Brand Killer”. I am not impressed. Indeed, I think it is a bad and potentially dangerous idea. It is excusable because they are students. What bothers me is the Wired article uses an encouraging tune. It makes you feel it is some achievements or some good idea we should embrace even support. I beg to differ.

I know there is such thing called adblocker, which when installed into a web browser would block ads from websites. This is a equally bad idea. Allow me to explain.

Advertising started as long as the inception of the public media, even before that. Since the start of the television, advertising has been part of modern life. The flourish of the Interest comes with the same level of growth in Internet advertising. Some ads are fine, some are even interesting, a few are even memorable, however, most of them are annoying. Overall ads have been negative in most of our minds. But it doesn’t matter, ads has long became part of the modern culture. Nobody likes ads, even though it can be good some times, just like we don’t like politicians in general, even though there are good politicians whom we don’t hate.

Just like many other things in the world, ads exist for a reason, a good reason indeed. The entire TV industry is financed by ads.

Without ads, you would have to pay a big chunk of your salary to have 300 channels on your TV, or just watch PBS all day every day.

Without ads, the New York Times, WSJ would cost you 3 times more than you pay now. Okey, you don’t read them.

But without ads, the Internet would be left with only the government websites, which are paid by tax payers, the corporate websites, which you don’t bother to visit unless you want to do business with them.

Without ads, you have to go to your rich neighbor’s house to watch the Super Bowl, like the old days.

Without ads, the Oscar would be hosted by Mr. Rogers from Mr. Rogers Neighborhood, instead of Tina Fey and Amy Poehler.

Without ads, the Olympic games would be gone forever. They are already in trouble finding a host city, if you want to kill it, the adblocker can certainly help.

People don’t realize when you watch TV for any one second, someone paid for you. It’s either you pay or they pay, nothing is really free.

The app is called “Brand Killer”, quite a name. I believe it will do what they want. It is OK to kill the brands, and they probably will make a lot of money killing the brands, but are we OK that the Internet go back 20 years, many of favorite websites get killed forever?

I think for the good people who loves the Internet, and television, and any media that we enjoy, adblockers should die, so should the idea of “Brand Killer”. If they have to, please don’t use it with HoloLens, please.

 

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Some Business Ideas with HoloLens – (17) Holo-Advertising

 

This is the 17th in a series of “Some Business Ideas with HoloLens”. Read other posts here.

 

Microsoft-HoloLens

 

Holo-Advertising

Development Effort: 3/10
Business Value: 9/10
Wow Factor: 6/10
Holo-Advertising, what an unsexy thing to say! I know, but without advertising, our lives would be much worse off. We are watching 900 TV channels for free because of ads. The very existence of the Internet is largely because of ads. There is no such thing as a free lunch: you either pay for it, or get it free with ads.

If we can’t avoid it, why not make it enjoyable, or at least less intrusive. Well, HoloLens makes this a reality.

Many apps don’t need the full field of view, so a separate ads windows can be place beside the main content. This is much less annoying because it doesn’t take screen space (there is no screen to begin with), therefore, it doesn’t affect user experience. You can enlarge your main content as much as possible.

I think most of the ad controls for Windows will work with Holographic interface, with little to no changes. So the development effort is very low, for both advertising companies, like Smaato, and the app developers. Of course, ads can appear in 3D form, if it is attractive enough, user may want to play with it. You see, if you can make ads fun, that’s real business. I haven’t seen this happen on the current online advertising systems. Holographic gives us an opportunity to do that.