A while back we reported about a Microsoft patent application for a system that would scan your posts on Facebook and other social media (with your permission, presumably) to deduce your mood, interests, and possibly even your intelligence, to help deliver search results more suited to you.
Now the company is taking things a step further, adding ads and the Kinect sensor to the mix.
A different Microsoft patent application, made public this week, proposes targeting ads to users based on their emotional state at any given point.
Do you seem happy? You’ll see ads for vacation packages and consumer electronics, but not weight-loss programs or self-help products. Do you appear sad? You won’t see that over-the-top animated ad for children’s birthday parties at the local bowling alley. Feeling frustrated? It’s PC support ads for you.
Those are actual examples from the patent application, which incorporates some of the same ideas as the earlier filing for deducing the user’s mood — including scanning messages and social media postings. Also included this time are audio and video capture devices (to detect facial expressions and tone of voice) in addition to the company’s Kinect sensor, which would be used to analyze body movements as another input for the emotion-detecting algorithm.
As shown below in a diagram from the patent filing, advertisers would be able to tag their campaigns to target users in specific emotional states and avoid others.
The application was originally filed in December 2010 and made public this past week, on June 7. As with most of these things, there’s no indication that the company actually plans to roll this out. But it provides a glimpse into the mindset of Microsoft’s engineers as they contemplate future products.