Apple Envisions Ads To Fit Your Mood

In the Oscar-nominated movie "Her," a man in the not-too-distant future becomes intimately involved with an operating system that eventually gets to know him better than he knows himself.

Apple seems to be envisioning that type of digital-human relationship as it evidently explores a way to detect device-users' moods, and then send them tailor-made ads. A recent patent application discusses detection of moods based on blood pressure and heart rate or via facial recognition.

Would A Movie Cheer You Up?

Bored? Perhaps some suggestions from Netflix. Feeling romantic? How about sending flowers to your paramour? Lonely? Maybe an invitation to check out eHarmony or Match.com will help.

It's unclear, and perhaps unsettling to consider, what type of messages advertisers might tailor for people detected as angry or annoyed.

But Apple's application filed Jan. 23, first reported on by AppleInsider, comes as tech giants are looking for new ways to use personal information to show users the most relevant ads.

Companies like Google are already using location data and search history, and Google Glass can track what you're doing in real time. Facebook judges from likes and keywords in user profiles and status updates. Microsoft's Kinect sensor for its Xbox gaming platform can also collect data about users and read facial expressions. And smart appliances can track our laundry and eating habits and preferences.

Apple claims the technology it hopes to patent "analyzes mood-associated characteristic data collected over a period of time to produce at least one baseline mood profile for a user. The user's current mood can then be inferred by applying one or more mood rules to compare current mood-associated data to at least one baseline mood profile for the user."

Neil Mawston, executive director of the global wireless practice at Strategy Analytics, told us this technology is a natural progression. "Contextual computing is in...

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