Google get patent for salient weather-based ads
It's honking down! Buy an umbrella-ella-ella-ey-ey-ey! Oi! Pink chops! Buy suncream! You're beginning to smell like crackling! These are some of the things that your phone could howl at you in the not too distant future.
Well, Google have been awarded a patent that could allow it to offer up advertisements based on your environment while you hopelessly prod at your smartphone.
Of course, this patent hasn't been well received by privacy organisations who think that its all a bit Minority Report, which sees us dead-eyed plebs heavily targeted by commercials while living in some ghastly dystopian society. A world where your phone demands you buy a scarf and wellington boots! THE HORROR!
The filing submitted to the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) says that “information about an environmental condition of a remote device is received, the environmental condition being determined based on a signal output from a sensor of the remote device or a sensor coupled to the remote device. An advertisement is identified based on the environmental condition, and the advertisement is provided to the remote device.”
That suggests that we could see a future where we have weather sensors included in our phones, but it is more likely that it'll work through the weather updates and data accrued from it.
“When determining what ads to serve to end users, the environmental factors can be used independently or in combination with matching of keywords associated with the advertisements and keywords in user search queries,” said the patent. “A web browser or search engine located at the user’s site may obtain information on the environment (e.g. temperature, humidity, light, sound, air composition) from sensors.”
“Advertisers may specify that the ads are shown to users whose environmental conditions meet certain criteria,” it added. “For example, advertisements for air conditioners can be sent to users located at regions having temperatures above a first threshold, while advertisements for winter overcoats can be sent to users located at regions having temperatures below a second threshold.
Google have also patented a method of detecting background noise when a user makes a phone call. Combined with GPS functionality, this could see ads generated after it has been determined that a user is at a festival or football match, meaning you'd get ads for albums or pies.