Your smartphone has become an extension of you. That fact has even led to the rise of a new branch of studies in evolution, one that examines how we use modern technology to adapt and extend ourselves and our brains. The idea is that our smartphones and other such devices have become part of our brains. We no longer need to remember phone numbers. We have then in our phones. Learning is a breeze, as long as you have a smartphone and Internet connection.
That "extension of ourselves" factor about smartphones has led to a lot of cynical observations about how people can't seem to look at each other, have a decent dinner, interact "normally", without looking down at their devices all the time. ABC News now reports that one company has found a way to use that to their – and possibly your – advantage.
"We glance at our phones, on average, 150 times per day," said Yunha Kim, co-founder and CEO of Locket. Locket is an Android app that aims to take advantage of all that looking down time. Kim continues, "We believe the smartphone lock screen is the most valuable unused real estate in advertising."
But the folks at Locket don't just want to stick more ads in front of your face. They want to pay you for looking at them.
Locket sits on an Android phones lock screen. Whenever you look at one of the ads they stream to you – up to three per hour – you get paid a penny. With a three-per-hour cap, that's not an incredible amount of money, but in the course of one year, it could be $100 or more.
But the Locket people also emphasize that their ads are not just ugly old banners that you'd rather not look at.
"The beauty of high quality print ads has been lost in the world of mobile advertising. Locket allows users to see beautiful ads from the brands they love, at a glance," said Christopher Crawford, the co-founder of Locket. "We call it 'First Glance Advertising'."
"At first many people say 'I have enough ads in my life,' but as soon as they see the application and the beautiful ads they don't see them as ads," Kim said. "You're not getting anything from seeing ads everywhere. We can show you things like the latest movies and tell you what's available at a discount around you. Our play is about targeting you better and giving you better ads, while also giving you some pocket money."