Feeds

Apple seeks patent for mood-sensing technology

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

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

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. ®

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

More from The Register

next story
Scrapping the Human Rights Act: What about privacy and freedom of expression?
Justice minister's attack to destroy ability to challenge state
WHY did Sunday Mirror stoop to slurping selfies for smut sting?
Tabloid splashes, MP resigns - but there's a BIG copyright issue here
Google hits back at 'Dear Rupert' over search dominance claims
Choc Factory sniffs: 'We're not pirate-lovers - also, you publish The Sun'
EU to accuse Ireland of giving Apple an overly peachy tax deal – report
Probe expected to say single-digit rate was unlawful
Inequality increasing? BOLLOCKS! You heard me: 'Screw the 1%'
There's morality and then there's economics ...
Hey Brit taxpayers. You just spent £4m on Central London ‘innovation playground’
Catapult me a Mojito, I feel an Digital Innovation coming on
While you queued for an iPhone 6, Apple's Cook sold shares worth $35m
Right before the stock took a 3.8% dive amid bent and broken mobe drama
EU probes Google’s Android omerta again: Talk now, or else
Spill those Android secrets, or we’ll fine you
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.