Friday, March 23, 2012

Google's US 8,138,930: Advertising based on environmental conditions

The first claim of the US Patent "Advertising based on environmental conditions" states:

A computer-implemented method comprising:
receiving, from a computing device, a search request comprising (i) information about a first environmental condition of the computing device, and (ii) one or more search terms;
parsing the search request;
selecting, from the search request based on parsing, the information about the first environmental condition;
identifying an advertisement based on the first environmental condition and at least one of the one or more search terms; providing the advertisement to the computing device; receiving one or more of an audio signal, an image signal, or a video signal from a sensor of the computing device; and
determining a second environmental condition based on the one or more of the audio signal, the image signal, or the video signal.

The "summary" gives one an idea of the objective:

This document describes a system for allowing advertisers to target on-line advertisements based on environmental factors of end users. When determining what ads to serve to end users, the environmental factors can be used independently or in combination with matching of keywords associated with the advertisements and keywords in user search queries. A web browser or search engine located at the user's site may obtain information on the environment (e.g., temperature, humidity, light, sound, air composition) from sensors. Advertisers may specify that the ads are shown to users whose environmental conditions meet certain criteria. For example, advertisements for air conditioners can be sent to users located at regions having temperatures above a first threshold, while advertisements for winter overcoats can be sent to users located at regions having temperatures below a second threshold.

In general, in one aspect, information about an environmental condition of a remote user who is accessing a network is received at a server, an advertisement based on the environmental condition is identified at the server, the information about the environmental condition being derived from an output of a sensor located at the remote user, and the advertisement is provided to the user through the network.

As to prior art, the patent cites an article by Barnaby J. Feder [of the New York Times, J.D., the University of California at Berkeley School of Law, 1977 ], "Billboards That Know You by Name" [online], New York Times, Jan. 29, 2007 .

The patent also notes: This application is related to U.S. patent application Ser. No. 12/017,597, titled "ADVERTISING BASED ON ENVIRONMENTAL CONDITIONS"


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