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Microsoft demos next-gen ad technologies

New technologies from Microsoft will help advertisers better target ads to content in search, video, on Web pages, and public kiosks.

Microsoft showed off technology to journalists on Tuesday for enabling out-of-home ads and speech recognition-based contextual video ads, and blocking ads from popping up next to porn.


The technology is being developed in Microsoft's adCenter Labs and is not on the market yet.

Tarek Najm, technical fellow at Microsoft, said in a statement that the technologies "can change the game of online advertising."

Meanwhile, Microsoft's got other plans for changing the game. The company launched a bid to acquire Yahoo for $44.6 billion last week. So far, Yahoo doesn't appear to be biting and things could get messy if Microsoft refuses to take "no" for an answer, which is likely.

A merger would help Microsoft better compete against Google in the search and online ad market. It's unclear whether Microsoft would go with its own adCenter online ad platform or with Yahoo's Panama platform if the merger were to go through. Microsoft launched adCenter in 2006, and Yahoo launched its overhauled online ad system last year. So far, neither of the systems seems to be giving Google much grief.

In its demonstrations at its Redmond, Wash., headquarters, Microsoft showed off something called "Air Wave," which allows advertisers to reach consumer on interactive multitouch screens in public places.

Another technology under development uses a computer vision algorithm to calculate where to put an ad in a video that would intrude the least on the viewing experience, as well as technology that inserts contextual ads in video where appropriate.

Microsoft also is working on improvements to keyword and content analysis that would help companies put their ads next to more relevant content. Other technology would block ads from being displayed next to objectionable or sensitive content such as porn or weapons.

This is a screenshot for Microsoft's adCenter Contextual Ads for Video service that is being developed in its adCenter Labs. Microsoft