Week 3: Heather Bieber

Honeycrisp Inc.’s Revolutionary Product

              If a product would emerge that could read your body’s physical reaction, then not only TV programming, but a whole new wave of technology would emerge. Vital signs consist of heart rate, temperature, blood pressure, and oxygen intake. I can easily see a camera being able to record your body language. Vital signs, however, are a bit trickier and accuracy is key, especially in the medical field. What would blood pressure attribute to in terms of a TV show? If someone was watching a fast food commercial, would their blood pressure go up? More than likely blood pressure would not be involved in determining programs of choice. There could be some useful information derived from blood pressure, if a correlation between those with high blood pressure and certain TV shows was found, but I think this is too far of a stretch! Temperature is usually changed by sickness, and if a person’s core body temperature is constantly fluctuating, they could have a serious medical problem! That being said, heart rate and respiratory rate could be great determining factors. Of course, each person has their own natural level of vitals, and these can all be influenced by previous activity level or medical conditions. The TV show would have to begin when the person’s vital signs are measured at a resting rate. This would be very difficult considering minor factors such as a scare from something other than the TV, or stress which often contributes to a higher respiratory and heart rate.

All technical difficulties aside, if an accurate measurement could be conducted by a product, not only the TV programming world would change, but the medical field as well. Different stressors in the environment as well as activity levels could be monitored using this program, and it could be a great research tool to determine shows that do good for the body. It sounds hard to imagine, but just think if a TV show could calm a person with a naturally high heart rate. Just imagine if a certain series could lower a high respiratory rate. I am sure, considering that TV shows are often indistinguishable by the brain as reality or fiction, that the body language measurements could provide insight into what shocks a person, and what relaxes them. This could be a stretch, but what if horror shows could be shown to criminals to determine their guilt? If the criminal has no reaction to a horrific scene, it could be a sign that he has gotten used to it. Also, monitoring brain waves would be an excellent addition to this product. The brain could be studied in terms of thought patterns and emotional level involved during TV programs to determine how emotional responses could be increased for higher show ratings.

Overall, TV programming would become so much more realistic than an IMAX theater could imagine. This type of body monitoring could give way to the technology long envisioned in several story lines like Avatar and the Matrix. What if we could enter our virtual reality with more realism than ever? People are already on their way to developing realistic video games that you control by your body movements. A helmet is worn to create the viewing sequence. The body is hooked up to the controls so you become the main character. In all, I think this integration of reality and TV viewing is a great idea and a project that would be well worth working towards. It is the next level of entertainment. We have already gone so far as to create 3D movies and amazing CG effects. It may take testing and many years, but the payoff would be extraordinary. TV shows could get higher ratings, have a greater effect on the brain and body, create opportunities for expansion in genres of television, and increase viewing rates across the world. It would not surprise me if developers already have these ideas on the drawing board. It is reminiscent of the movie WALL-E where people are constantly glued to their TVs. They programmed every part of their day through a single device. Sure, there could be several drawbacks to this revolutionary product. It could take lots of time to develop to a place where it creates a change in the viewing preference of consumers. The only problem I can conjure up is, would people ever want to stop watching?