Google's Environment-Sensing Ads Will Try To Sell You a Balaclava When It's Windy

By Gary Cutlack on at

A new patent registered by Google covers the serving of adverts based on the background noises it picks up by listening in to your phone calls, which could result in your mobile spamming you with Cornetto ads whenever the ice cream van drives past.

The ad system would capture "Information about an environmental condition of a remote device" using that to shape resulting ads. The precise nature of all the "environmental condition" options isn't specified in the patent, so as well as being audio-based it could also perhaps use the barometer feature inside some Android models to sell you sun tan lotion when it thinks it's a bit warm out there.

Or it could serve you a teeth-whitening advert if it sounds like you're in a coffee shop. The patent also talks about possibly harvesting data from photos and videos, so if you've suddenly added 150 photos to your SD card with the sea in the background, you might start seeing ads for scuba training courses. Or life jackets.

There will be endless new possibilities for shoving more animated iframes in front of your eyes, basically. [TNW]