Technica – Verizon has filed a patent for a DVR that can watch and listen to the goings-on in your living room. In the application, the company proposes to use the technology to serve targeted ads appropriate to whatever you’re doing in the, uh, privacy of your own home—fighting, cuddling, or hanging out with your cats. Verizon is far from the first company to think of this unassailably creepy use for a set-top box. Comcast patented similar monitoring technology in 2008 for recommending content based on people it recognizes in the room; Google proposed yet another patent for Google TV that would use audio and video recorders to figure out how many people in a room are watching the current broadcast. Verizon filed for the application in May 2011, and it was just published last week. (By law, all patent applications are published after 18 months.) In the document, which was first noticed by FierceCable, Verizon gives two examples of the context-sensitive DVR’s use in a couple’s living room: sounds of arguing prompt ads for marriage counseling, while sounds of “cuddling” prompts ads for contraceptives. Charming.
Well this is some creepy shit. I find it weird enough when my gmail cycles in ads based on my internet activity. You know how fucked up my internet activity is? Just today my internet searches and history are “Homeless veterans” “Power bottoms” “what is Jewish?” and “Kelly Devine filthy sloppy blowjob.” You know what kind of advertising gets tailored to a guy with that shit in his Cookies?? Coincidentally my gmail is showing me “Video Conferencing Power – Learn why virtual collaboration for business is here to stay” because I’ve been talking about the podcast but the point remains – if my cable box is gonna record my behavior and listen to me the advertising it comes up with is gonna be some fucked up shit.
I mean more or less my cable box is gonna film me watching/listening to: Mike Francesa for 6 hours, 3 internet porn masturbation sessions sprinkled in there, and at night various Mets/Jets games throughout the year. Just gonna record me yelling at my TV every time some fat ass radio host says something I dont agree with. Watch me digging into full episodes of Casting Couch. Whats my cable box gonna send me when it heres “Reach back and spread your cheeks?” every day? And can you imagine the advertising tailored towards me after recording me watch a Mets or Jets game? My cable box would probably alert the authorities that I’m a threat to myself and others. My custom advertising package is gonna be anger management help, KY Jelly, and suicide prevention hotlines.