Become a digitalPLUS subscriber. 99¢ for 4 weeks.
BusinessTechnology

Can your cable box know who you're cuddling with? This one can

Patents, Copyrights and TrademarksOlive GardenXbox

So patent application stories are always a bit dicey, no one knows if the company is actually going to follow through. But occasionally something so creepy comes along that the usual patent application caveats are thrown out the window.

Verizon has filed a patent to that takes the tech behind the Xbox Kinect and others like it a skeevy step further. Instead of helping you rock out to that Zumba routine, the cameras and mics connected to this invention could record could what's happening in a living room and program ads accordingly. Viewers are talking about how hungry they are? Well, cue that Olive Garden commercial! Snuggling on the couch with your significant other? Fire up that all inclusive Caribbean resort spot! 

Feeling creeped out yet? Just wait. Those are just the examples Verizons was giving in the application. Two people fighting in front of the TV could set off a marriage counseling ad. And depending how sadistic the programmers are, depressed people could be tempted by booze and sweets. While the Kinect already tracks whether an adult or a child is watching and programs its content accordingly, this "detection zone" concept is an all-out invasion of privacy.  

One silver lining is that fact that the device could also figure out whether an animal is watching. Think about it, this could possibly spark the development of TV programing for dogs and cats thus raising the quality bar for TV in general. 

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
Comments
Loading