American company Verizon has been granted a patent, applied for in May 2011, for a DVR that monitors what viewers are doing in order to provide targeted advertising.
The patent describes a ” media content presentation system presenting a media content program comprising an advertisement break, detecting an ambient action performed by a user during the presentation of the media content program, selecting an advertisement associated with the detected ambient action, and presenting the selected advertisement during the advertisement break”, meaning that the DVR will watch viewers and supply advertising based on what viewers happen to be doing.
Exactly how Verizon would implement such a patent is uncertain since the “media content presentation system” or DVR is usually used to bypass ad breaks. Unless they decide to force targeted advertising into the device, removing one of the reasons for owning a DVR in the process, the patent may stay dormant for a while.
A similar system has been put forward by Microsoft who, using the Kinect, can supply feedback to advertisers. This system could also be used to deliver targeted advertising.
Source: PC World