Verizon Envisions A DVR That Can Watch And Listen TV Viewers

Some of the most eminent follies committed by the modern corporate world have been on the pretext of advertisement. It has now been found out that Verizon had filed a patent about a digital video recorder that will essentially end the privacy of your TV lounge.


Verizon filed this patent as far back as May 2011. The patent essentially talks about a special DVR that comes with “at least one depth sensor, image sensor, audio sensor and thermal sensor.” This would essentially enable the DVR to actively observe you.

It can watch you while you watch the TV, listen to you and by gathering all this data, it can dish out appropriate ads on your TV. For instance, if you are having a quick-lunch in front of the TV, the DVR will sense this, listen in on your conversation and start running an ad related to McDonalds burgers.

Or, if you are feeling sleepy and lay yourself flat on the cushion, it may start displaying ads for comfortable furniture. In other words, the DVR will actively sense what you are doing as well as what you are saying and based on this, it will be used to target you with specific ads.

Naturally, such a device would essentially end the privacy of one’s life. If you fit your TV with this envisioned DVR, it would mean that your TV lounge is no longer a private domain. However, what we need to know is that whether or not the data gathered by this DVR will be shared with Verizon or the advertisers.

If all the DVR does is gather the information and parse it intelligently in real-time to display relevant ads, it may actually prove useful. However, if the video and sound feed from the users is to be shared with anyone, the advertisers or the wireless carrier itself, that essentially violates users’ privacy rights.

Source: USPTO

Courtesy: PennLive

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Salman Latif is a software engineer with a specific interest in social media, big data and real-world solutions using the two.Other than that, he is a bit of a gypsy. He also writes in his own blog. You can find him on Google+ and Twitter .

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