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USPTO Granted Google ‘Advertising Based on Environmental Conditions’ Patent

The United States Patent and Trademark Office, on March 20 granted a patent to Google for “advertising based on environmental conditions” to users.

This official patent application Ser. No. 12/017,597, titled “Advertising Based on Environmental Conditions”, was filed concurrently with this application, the contents of which are incorporated herein by reference. It isn’t hard to imagine these types of ads being combined with the rumored Google AI “Assistant” product.

“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,” reads the description.

Implementations may include one or more of the following features. The network can include a mobile phone network having base stations, and determining the location of the remote user can include determining the location of the remote user using information provided by a base station that receives signals from the remote user. The request from the remote user can include a request for information. The request for information can include a request for phone directory information. The request for information can include a request for a document.

A variety of sensors are mentioned. For example, when the temperature sensed by a device dips below a certain threshhold, the system could serve up ads for winter apparel, according to the patent. It also looks like included in the patent is the ability to serve ads based on sounds, light, and air composition.

Google noted in the patent that “it is important to respect the privacy of the users,” and explained that users would have the option of “enabling or disabling some or all of the sensors for the purpose of gathering information to support advertisements,” as governed by a privacy policy.

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