Tuesday, April 10, 2012

USPTO Issues "Spy" Patent to Google for Targeted Advertising Based on a User's Local Environment

Advertising Based on Environmental Conditions - U.S. Patent 8138930

This United States Patent #8,138,930 (Advertising Based on Environmental Conditions) takes the whole track, trace and database theme to a new level. Google (and/or its advertising affiliates) will now transmit advertisements to users of its services based on the users' environmental conditions such as humidity, sound, light or air composition. Claim 17 is on point:

17. The apparatus of claim 13, wherein a sensor of the computing device is configured to sense at least one of temperature, humidity, sound, light, or air composition.

Further, Google will obtain the necessary environmental information from sensors in the user's web browser or search engine to which advertisers will have access. Basically, Google will be spying on a user's environmental conditions and providing that information to its advertisers who will then transmit the targeted advertisements based on the applicable environmental conditions.

This document describes a system for allowing advertisers to target on-line advertisements based on environmental factors of end users. 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. 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. 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.

In general, in one aspect, information about an environmental condition of a remote user who is accessing a network is received at a server, an advertisement based on the environmental condition is identified at the server, the information about the environmental condition being derived from an output of a sensor located at the remote user, and the advertisement is provided to the user through the network.

Source: End the Lie; United States Patent & Trademark Office

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