The Philips company's labs are working on a device that would prevent viewers from fast-forwarding through commercials.
Philips suggests adding flags to commercial breaks to stop a viewer from changing channels until the adverts are over. The flags could also be recognised by digital video recorders, which would then disable the fast forward control while the ads are playing.
Anticipating consumers might resent being forced to sit through commercials, the company suggested viewers might be able to pay a fee to disable the feature.
Not to be outdone, the fast food industry has gotten behind technology that would force-feed consumers items off "Dollar Menus". Consumers who didn't want to eat fish nuggets or quesadilla bombs would pay a fee to disable the force-feeding unit.
I see terrific growth potential for this type of corporate strategy. Companies force consumers to use technologies they don't want unless they pay a fee.
How 'bout camera phones that automatically share your pictures on a website unless you pay a fee? Internet companies that charge you money NOT to send you death threats? Cable companies that make you watch Steven Segal films unless you pay an extra $5.99 a month?
How long before our not-at-all-beholden-to-corporate-interests Representatives in the House and Congress propose bills making it a crime to not consume?