Apple aims to target ads based on your mood

A freshly published Apple patent application envisions the delivery of targeted ads based on your mood, behavior, and other seemingly intangible characteristics.

Apple/USPTO

Tired of being inundated with irrelevant online ads? Apple has a new twist in mind, assuming you're in the mood.

"Inferring user mood based on user and group characteristic data," an Apple patent application published Thursday by the US Patent and Trademark Office, describes a system that would try to gauge some of your physical and behavioral facets to serve up ads that may better appeal to you.

The ad delivery system would start by compiling a "baseline mood profile" against which it can compare your future moods. Information that might be captured would include your heart rate, blood pressure, adrenaline level, perspiration rate, body temperature, vocal expression, and even your facial expression. The time of day and your current location may also be incorporated to associate those factors with your various moods.

The system would then select a specific type of ad based on your current mood and other criteria. As one example listed in the patent application, certain ads might be sent to someone with the following characteristics: gender, male; age, 19-24; location, Northern California or New York City; mood, happy.

Apple's filing describes the system in the usual patentese:

An individual's responsiveness to targeted content delivery can be affected by a number of factors, such as an interest in the content, other content the user is currently interacting with, the user's current location, or even the time of day. A way of improving targeted content delivery can be to infer a user's current mood and then deliver content that is selected, at least in part, based on the inferred mood. The present technology analyzes mood-associated characteristic data collected over a period of time to produce at least one baseline mood profile for a user. The user's current mood can then be inferred by applying one or more mood rules to compare current mood-associated data to at least one baseline mood profile for the user.

Such an invention would certainly be a boon to advertisers. Personally, I'd be creeped out by any system that wanted to know my blood pressure, perspiration rate, and overall emotional behavior. In other words, I think it would put me in a bad mood.

(Via AppleInsider)

About the author

Journalist, software trainer, and Web developer Lance Whitney writes columns and reviews for CNET, Computer Shopper, Microsoft TechNet, and other technology sites. His first book, "Windows 8 Five Minutes at a Time," was published by Wiley & Sons in November 2012.

 

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