Apple applied for a patent to figure out a user's mood based on vital signs and deliver ads catering to that mood, according to a report.
AppleInsider first wrote about the pending patent application from Apple, which will also look at demographics, location and time. The filing said that Apple is working on establishing a person's mood based on several kinds of data including heart rate, blood pressure, body temperature and other signals, according to TechCrunch. This could mean Apple may be taking note of the music one is listening to or melancholy interactions on social media.
To make this all happen, though, Apple would need to create a baseline so it can figure out if a mood change is happening. Then Apple can start throwing out those ads. Perhaps if it detects happiness it may suggest a shopping spree at a retailer, or if one is sad perhaps the ads would suggest pints of ice cream and the latest tearjerker on Netflix?
Users can opt-out of the system which complies with current Apple privacy and user agreements, so we wonder who would opt-in? We have doubts that Apple is able to quantify mood and this may be an exercise in futility. What if, after an email explaining one's relative has died, Apple delivers a tone-deaf ad about funeral homes or caskets? Mood-based advertising is new and likely has a steep learning curve, especially when you're AI and can't understand tone.
Published at 4:03 PM PST on Jan 24, 2014