Google Patent Outlines Weather Sensing Advertisements
March 23, 2012 10:05 AM
comment(s) - last by
One more way to spy on you or nice new feature?
Many mobile phone and internet users have no love for ads. Mobile phones already have limited screen real estate, so the intrusion of ads is especially annoying. Google has now filed for a patent for weather-based advertising, but claims that it doesn't have current plans to use the patent.
A Google spokesman said, "We file patent applications on a variety of ideas that our employees come up with. Some of those ideas later mature into real products or services, some don't. Prospective product announcements should not necessarily be inferred from our patent applications."
The patent outlines a way that Google could serve ads based on the environmental conditions of the user's immediate area. For instance, the patent opens the doors to be able to show you ads for things like umbrellas if it's raining or possibly sunscreen on bright days.
Privacy advocates already fear the patent could set a dangerous precedent. Being able to sense weather conditions in your immediate area would seemingly make it easier to identify exactly where the user is.
"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," explains the patent document.
reports that the patent can also indicate future phones can be fitted with more sensors allowing it to record temperature, humidity, light, and air composition. That seems like a stretch considering how important battery life is to devices today.
Gus Hosein, executive director of Privacy International says, "Not content with collecting vast amounts of information from your online activities, it seems Google is looking to start exploiting the offline space as well. Patents like this may never come to fruition, but they force us to ask ourselves: how many aspects of our lives will advertisers try to exploit, and where will it end? This is an attempt to turn our devices into personal spying devices, just so a company can try to sell you a coat on a cold day."
This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled
It's all about selling umbrellas!
3/23/2012 11:48:22 PM
Imagine the money Google will make by selling all of those umbrellas! I'm surprised that the stock price didn't skyrocket on this news!
Seriously, what selling opportunities are there in knowing the temperature, humidity, etc., of where someone is at a certain time? The seasons are pretty predictable, after all. If you know someone's location, you have a pretty good idea of what the weather is there, anyway.
This is just another patent to toss on the pile. If it has applications, they're likely to be ones that will provide a convenience for the user, not a selling opportunity.
“So far we have not seen a single Android device that does not infringe on our patents." -- Microsoft General Counsel Brad Smith
Google's Gleaming Glass HQ Gets Mountain View Snub, LinkedIn Gets the Love
May 7, 2015, 6:58 AM
Tech's Tax Day Fortunate Few: Qualcomm, Xerox, GE, et al. Pay Little or No Taxes
April 15, 2015, 11:30 AM
LinkNYC Terminals to Blanket New York City With Free WiFi, Free Calls, and Ads
November 17, 2014, 6:50 PM
Microsoft is Open-Sourcing Most of .NET, Adding OS X and Linux Support
November 12, 2014, 8:27 PM
Home Depot Lost 53 Million Emails, Blames Windows, Buys Execs New Macs
November 9, 2014, 5:00 PM
Former NSA Lawyer: If Google, Apple Encrypt User Data, They’ll Wither on the Vine Like Blackberry
November 6, 2014, 12:15 PM
Most Popular Articles
Why the U.S. Won't be Able to Ban Google's New Huawei Marshmallow Flagship Phone
October 3, 2015, 5:27 PM
Microsoft Band 2 Stays Focused on Fitness, Debuts Oct. 30, Priced at $249
October 6, 2015, 9:16 PM
Microsoft's HD-500 ("Display Dock"), the Magic Sauce Behind Continuum
October 6, 2015, 5:30 PM
Apple's First Fixes to iOS 9 Land w/ iOS 9.0.1 Release
September 23, 2015, 6:11 PM
Microsoft Lumia 950 and 950 XL Finally Launch, w/ Windows 10, Liquid Cooling
October 6, 2015, 3:35 PM
Latest Blog Posts
Sceptre Airs 27", 120 Hz. 1080p Monitor/HDTV w/ 5 ms Response Time for $220
Dec 3, 2014, 10:32 PM
Costco Gives Employees Thanksgiving Off; Wal-Mart Leads "Black Thursday" Charge
Oct 29, 2014, 9:57 PM
"Bear Selfies" Fad Could Turn Deadly, Warn Nevada Wildlife Officials
Oct 28, 2014, 12:00 PM
The Surface Mini That Was Never Released Gets "Hands On" Treatment
Sep 26, 2014, 8:22 AM
ISIS Imposes Ban on Teaching Evolution in Iraq
Sep 17, 2014, 5:22 PM
More Blog Posts
Copyright 2015 DailyTech LLC. -
Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information