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BizReport : Advertising archives : June 13, 2012

Microsoft patent proposes serving ads based on body-language

Facebook asks its users, "What's on your mind?". A patent filed by Microsoft could answer that question for you and serve ads matching your mood or body-language.

by Helen Leggatt

kinect camera.jpgIn December, 2010, Microsoft filed a patent application that has only just been made public. Registered under No. 20120143693, the patent is for "a computer system, a computer-implemented method, and computer readable media configured to target advertisements based on emotional states".

Consumers are already getting used to the idea of being tracked by the trails they leave online and in-store, but this proposed technology takes consumer tracking to a whole new level.

According to the text of the patent application, Microsoft plans to target consumers based on a new set of data - body-language. No doubt the motion-sensing technology of Kinect will be the link to collecting and processing of this information.

The proposed technology would mean that whatever the Kinect spies you doing - crying, laughing, eating, reading - it can tailor ads accordingly.

Advertisers could specify the emotional states they want to target. Looking glum? Serve ads for anti-depressants or vacations. Laughing? Present the viewer with ads for clubs and parties.

"No club or party advertisers want to appear when the user is sad or crying. When the user is emotionally sad, advertisements about club parties would not be appropriate and may seem annoying or negative to the user," says the patent. "Advertisers using the advertisement engine are more likely to surface emotionally compatible advertisements to users."

There are no indications whether Microsoft has plans to roll this out, and the 18 month old patent was only made public last week.

Tags: ad buying, ad targeting, consumer behavior, consumer tracking, digital advertising, online tracking

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