By: Nick Gambino

If you had told me back in 2002 that most of the technology in Minority Report would be realized in the next 15 years, I would have laughed you off, changed my number and never spoken to you again. I was kind of a jerk, I guess.

But since the release of the film we’ve seen multi-touch interfaces, gesture recognition and advanced retina scanners become a reality with insect robots and crime prediction software (the closest I think we’ll get to Precogs) in development.

Now with the brand-new use of personalized ads/commercials in the U.K. we’ve got one more Minority Report technology to check off the list.

20th Century Fox is the first to use a new interactive ad technology with Channel 4 in the U.K that allows the advertiser to personalize the audio and some of the text to the viewer. It’ll be piloted on Channel 4’s All 4 on-demand platform and will use the information of those who’ve registered with the service.

They’re starting with ads for Alien: Covenant where a personalized message will be displayed and spoken. In this case the message is “[Your name] Run.” So, if I was watching the ad it would say, “Nick Run” followed by the evacuation of all bodily fluids on my part.


“We’re incredibly excited to offer the market something completely ground-breaking,” David Amodio of Channel 4 said. “The most attention-grabbing word for anyone to hear is without doubt one’s own name, so to be able to offer advertisers the chance to speak directly to our millions of viewers is not just unique but an immensely powerful marketing tool.”

We’ll also see ads from Foster’s Lager that will say, “[Name], this one’s for you.” Though, because of the creep factor, I’m surprised they didn’t go for the more appropriate, “Foster’s: Australian for fear.”

What do you think of the new addressable ads? Cool gimmick or invasion of privacy? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!


Nick Gambino is a regular script writer and tech beat reporter for NewsWatch. He lives in Northern Virginia with his wife and daughter.