Ads That Give You Viruses
Not your computer. You, personally. Impossible? Only for now. At the moment there aren't many methods a computer can use to spread communicable diseases. Sure, your phone or laptop could maybe overheat enough to burn your thighs, or your Xbox controller could vibrate off the table and onto your soft bits, but those are really injuries more than diseases, aren't they? The great thing about the future is that anything is possible.
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Even clouds will be full of content in the future.
Imagine a smell-o-vision that some hacker rigs to spray measles into your face. Or a hypnotic audio file that convinces you to start licking poisonous plants. A hacked applet that causes your brain implants to overheat and infect. Sure, this isn't going to happen tomorrow. All of those technologies sound pretty far out there, for now.
But "out there" can show up on our doorsteps awful fast.
Ads That Look Like Notes From Your Future Self
For a long time now we've seen ads designed to look like articles on the site you're reading -- a technique first originated in the prehistoric world of print advertising. By this point most of us can tell the subtle differences between hilarious, never-lets-you-down content and the bogus kind. But how many of you could resist content purportedly written by yourself, in the future, begging for your help to save this and indeed all times?
"No, you see, that's definitely going to get us fired."
Using the information dredged from our browsing histories and social media accounts, advertising algorithms will soon be able to extrapolate plausible future histories for us and use those to craft messages targeted at our deepest hopes or fears. If you're worried about a big game/first date, a message from future-you warning of what you must do to score/score will certainly catch your eye. And if future-you states with great certainty that you'll need some goddamned incredible products from Adidas, McDonald's, or Raytheon, tell me you wouldn't rush out to stock up.
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"This is going to be a first date she never forgets."
Chris Bucholz is a Cracked columnist and voyager on the seas of time. His first novel, Severance, is incredible and available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or Apex Books. Join him on Facebook or Twitter.
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For more from Bucholz, check out 7 Ways To Trick Yourself Into Not Sucking So Much and 8 Things That Would Inevitably Happen If I Had A Dinosaur.