Spy-wear: The fink-o-meter

It’s time for the FutureFeedForward guy to give up — the future is here, and it’s way creepier than we ever imagined:

The PPM is a pager-sized device that is carried by consumers. It automatically detects inaudible codes that TV and radio broadcasters as well as cable networks embed in the audio portion of their programming using encoders provided by Arbitron. At the end of each day, the survey participants place the meters into base stations that recharge the devices and send the collected codes to Arbitron for tabulation. The meters are equipped with a motion sensor that allows Arbitron to monitor the compliance of the PPM survey participants every day – a quality control feature unique to the Arbitron Portable People Meter in the realm of media research…

As of March 31, 2002, slightly more than 1,500 individuals in the Philadelphia TV marketplace, age six and older, have been outfitted with the new passive audience measurement device, which automatically reports their exposure to the 79 radio, television and cable outlets that are currently encoding their audio signals for the U.S. market trial.

“It’s taken Arbitron less than three months to outfit more than 1500 consumers with our Portable People Meters,” said Marshall Snyder, president, Worldwide Portable People Meter Development, Arbitron Inc. “Now that we are fully installed, we will begin to compile the individual broadcast station and cable network ratings that the industry needs to evaluate this promising new technology.”

Link Discuss (Thanks, Fred!)