Feeds

Apple seeks patent for mood-sensing technology

Cupertino trying to satisfy all of the people, all of the time (especially advertisers)

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

Apple is seeking a patent on something it calls “Inferring user mood based on user and group characteristic data” that its application says would figure out how you are feeling and “... then deliver content that is selected, at least in part, based on the inferred mood.”

The patent application observes that “While the development of digital content delivery has enabled new techniques for identifying user characteristics, the user characteristics are often focused on a more general understanding of an individual's interest in targeted content. This can lead to periods of time where the targeted content delivery is misaligned, thereby resulting in decreased satisfaction for both the content provider and the content receiver.”

It's possible to figure out a user's mood, the application continues, by asking them how they feel. But that approach “could quickly lead to user aggravation, and likely a majority of users reporting a similar mood.” Apple's unobtrusive mood-detection plans rely on sniffing “recently consumed content” such as “a digital media item, a social networking activity, and/or an invitational content item response. Examples of digital media items can include apps, digital audio, digital videos, digital publications, webpages, invitational content, etc.”

The patent proposes establishing a “baseline mood profile” that will help to generate others, based on varied content consumption patterns. A “confidence score” will guess at just what mood you're in.

There's all sorts of detail about the process required to make a decision about mood, and the likely hardware required, which is business as usual for a patent application.

The application mentions advertising in several places and happily also considers the fact that users may not like having their moods inferred at paragraph 0066, which states, in part, that:

“ … the present disclosure contemplates that hardware and/or software elements can be provided to prevent or block access to such personal information data. For example, in the case of advertisement delivery services, the present technology can be configured to allow users to select to "opt in" or "opt out" of participation in the collection of personal information data during registration for services. In another example, users can select not to provide mood-associated data for targeted content delivery services. In yet another example, users can select to limit the length of time mood-associated data is maintained or entirely prohibit the development of a baseline mood profile.”

Interestingly the application is devoid of the term “sentiment analysis”, a technique often used to perform realtime analysis of call centre clientele to help agents understand callers' state of mind. The absence of a mention probably means Apple won't try to analyse iPhone users' voices. The existence of many patents in the field means Apple's mood may turn sour as it tries to get this application through. ®

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
Kate Bush: Don't make me HAVE CONTACT with your iPHONE
Can't face sea of wobbling fondle implements. What happened to lighters, eh?
Video of US journalist 'beheading' pulled from social media
Yanked footage featured British-accented attacker and US journo James Foley
Caught red-handed: UK cops, PCSOs, specials behaving badly… on social media
No Mr Fuzz, don't ask a crime victim to be your pal on Facebook
Ballmer leaves Microsoft board to spend more time with his b-balls
From Clippy to Clippers: Hi, I see you're running an NBA team now ...
Online tat bazaar eBay coughs to YET ANOTHER outage
Web-based flea market struck dumb by size and scale of fail
Amazon takes swipe at PayPal, Square with card reader for mobes
Etailer plans to undercut rivals with low transaction fee offer
Assange™: Hey world, I'M STILL HERE, ignore that Snowden guy
Press conference: ME ME ME ME ME ME ME (cont'd pg 94)
Call of Duty daddy considers launching own movie studio
Activision Blizzard might like quality control of a CoD film
US regulators OK sale of IBM's x86 server biz to Lenovo
Now all that remains is for gov't offices to ban the boxes
prev story

Whitepapers

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup
IT departments are embracing cloud backup, but there’s a lot you need to know before choosing a service provider. Learn all the critical things you need to know.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.
Rethinking backup and recovery in the modern data center
Combining intelligence, operational analytics, and automation to enable efficient, data-driven IT organizations using the HP ABR approach.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.