Feeds

Microsoft develops mood-matching ad engine

Feeling blue? Prozac ads heading your way, thanks to Redmond

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Protecting users from Firesheep and other Sidejacking attacks with SSL

Microsoft has filed for a technology patent which will allow advertisers to push their advertising to consumers based on their emotional states and recent behaviours and activities.

The platform works across devices, tracking and monitoring the online activity data of consumers stored in logs including browsing history, web page content, search queries, emails, instant messages, videos from webcams, gestures from a computing device, e.g., Microsoft Kinect and results from online games.

The technology created by a group of resident Microserfers goes on to process the online activity identifying a tone associated with content that the user interacted with, receiving an indication of the user's reaction to the content and assigning an emotional state to the user based on the tone of the content and the indication of the user's reaction to the content.

The user's reaction is identified from facial expressions of the user captured by an image capture device during the time period of usage. Advertisers then provide targeting data that includes the desired emotional states of users it intends to target and the ads are duly served to unsuspecting emo targets.

While Microsoft’s Kinect is an obvious conduit for this people-reading mechanism, it is perhaps the subtler methods of extracting user’s emotional states that is more sinister ie as the patent explains: “... if the user is accessing several sites about illness or diseases, the advertisement engine may assign a negative emotional state, such as, anxious, sad, or nervous, to the user.” And on a more granular level “the user information may include search histories, cookies, user identifiers, online activities, assigned emotional states, and passwords. The system information may include Internet protocol addresses, cached Webpages, and system utilization.”

The patent states that client devices that can used include, without limitation, personal digital assistants, smart phones, laptops, personal computers, gaming devices, or any other suitable client computing device. “In some embodiments, the client devices include image capture and voice capture devices. The image capture devices include cameras, video cameras, etc. The voice capture devices include microphones, recorders, etc.”.

To adland the engine is being pitched as having high levels of monetization value as Microsoft claims that it will cut through to core focus on targeted consumers. As the patent suggests: “When the user is emotionally sad, advertisements about club parties would not be appropriate and may seem annoying or negative to the user. Online help or technical support advertisers want their advertisements to appear when the user is demonstrating a confused or frustrated emotional state."

The application was made public last week but was filed in December 2010.®

Website security in corporate America

More from The Register

next story
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
Israeli spies rebel over mass-snooping on innocent Palestinians
'Disciplinary treatment will be sharp and clear' vow spy-chiefs
Apple CEO Tim Cook: TV is TERRIBLE and stuck in the 1970s
The iKing thinks telly is far too fiddly and ugly – basically, iTunes
Huawei ditches new Windows Phone mobe plans, blames poor sales
Giganto mobe firm slams door shut on Microsoft. OH DEAR
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Found inside ISIS terror chap's laptop: CELINE DION tunes
REPORT: Stash of terrorist material found in Syria Dell box
Show us your Five-Eyes SECRETS says Privacy International
Refusal to disclose GCHQ canteen menus and prices triggers Euro Human Rights Court action
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet
Explores the current state of website security and the contributions Symantec is making to help organizations protect critical data and build trust with customers.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.