A couple of months ago, Google obtained a patent that would allow it to target smartphone users with advertisements based on weather conditions. It does not mean that the idea will lead to a fully-fledged product or service – but if that were to happen, the Internet search giant would be able to present smartphone users with relevant ads through the use of embedded sensors detecting environmental factors such as temperature, humidity, light and sound.
It has now emerged that Microsoft has applied for a patent that would take targeted advertising beyond anything done so far, introducing a purely human factor into the equation. What this means is that the software colossus aims to present brands with the opportunity to make their ads relevant to consumers by tailoring them to emotional states.
So how exactly does Microsoft propose to do that? For starters, it would not work on consumers who do not have the Xbox 360 Kinect sensor since the camera of the device is central to the concept.
The voice and gestures captured by the motion-sensing gadget would be analysed for speech patterns, body movement and facial expressions, determining the mood of the user – happy, sad, angry, upset, neutral, etc.
An advertising engine could then select emotionally compatible ads on the basis of emotional states advertisers want to target, Microsoft says in its patent application. Simply put, an ad for a club or a party would hardly be welcomed by a sad user but a happy one may well find it highly relevant.