Google is definitely a synonym for innovation, but this here patent for picking up background noises and using them for ads is downright creepy. It also sounds like pure sci-fi but it’s not - it’s real. The patent itself is called “Advertizing based on environmental conditions.”
It all rounds up to analyzing background noises during your voice call to pick up your environment and use it to serve the perfect ads.
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.
So while this all is automated and there's no real person actually listening to your private conversations, the very thought of having your background noises tracked sounds scary.
What's more – it's not just about calls. Background environment in pictures that you've shot and videos you've taken could be used as well. We try to brush aside our Big Brother associations and concentrate on the actual patents, but it's hard. Give it a try, here's what the patent reads:
A computer-implemented method comprising: receiving, from a computing device, a search request comprising (i) information about a first environmental condition of the computing device, and (ii) one or more search terms; parsing the search request; selecting, from the search request based on parsing, the information about the first environmental condition; identifying an advertisement based on the first environmental condition and at least one of the one or more search terms; providing the advertisement to the computing device; receiving one or more of an audio signal, an image signal, or a video signal from a sensor of the computing device; and determining a second environmental condition based on the one or more of the audio signal, the image signal, or the video signal.
Hilariously, turns out The Onion “covered” a similar yet imaginary story in the past. Check out the video below and let us know your thoughts about these Google patents. Is Google being evil?