Now a company called Mindflash has a new technology to make sure you pay attention to your computer screen. It is marketed to companies who have on-line training programs. The software, called Focus Assist,
uses the tablet’s camera to track a user’s eye movements. When it senses that you’ve been looking away for more than a few seconds (because you were sending e-mails, or just fell asleep), it pauses the course, forcing you to pay attention–or at least look like you are–in order to complete it.
On the one hand, this sounds like a convenient way to deliver information with some assurance that the information is received. On the other hand, the paternalistic flavor is pretty evident. Now the $10,000 question: how many ways could this technology be abused?