Pay-per-gaze? Google patent proposes ad system

Aug 18, 2013 by Nancy Owano weblog
Google Glass

(Phys.org) —Advertising models could in the future expand from clicks to pupil dilations. Google's patent for a Gaze Tracking System became public last week. Originally filed in May 2011, the patent presents an idea for wearers of a head mounted device—and in 2013 observers are guessing this may be Google Glass—to have gaze tracked so that the system can pin down exactly what the user is looking at and even the emotional responses via pupil dilation. Information about where the user was gazing when viewing the external scene would be sent over to a server. Then the real work would start. An image recognition algorithm would be executed on the scene images to identify items within the external scenes viewed by the user. A gazing log tracking the identified items viewed by the user would be generated.

What's the benefit of translating images seen by the wearer of a head-mounted device into data logged on a server?

"To date," says the , "eye tracking systems have mostly been limited to research endeavors because of the intrusiveness, high cost, and reliability of these systems. A technique and system that can provide a reliable, low cost, and unobtrusive, could have a variety of useful everyday applications."

The usefulness is for Google and advertisers that flock to Google. Advertisers could be charged according to the number of views an ad received while wearing Glass, both offline and online. Google's patent refers to the process as "pay-per-" .

Of course, Google would not throw up on the screen each time a wearer tried to locate a restaurant, but instead would be setting up an advertising model of pay-per-gaze.

The patent discusses how this would work: "Under a pay per gaze advertising scheme, advertisers are charged based upon whether a user actually viewed their advertisement. Pay per gaze advertising need not be limited to on-line advertisements, but rather can be extended to conventional advertisement media including billboards, magazines, newspapers, and other forms of conventional print media." The system would involve "determining which, if any, of the identified items within the external scenes viewed by the user are advertisements; and charging advertisers associated with the advertisements based at least in part on a per gaze basis."

Needless to say, the patent's idea, if it were to fly on a device such as Google Glass, would unleash no small amount of conversation, from alarm, to spirited debate between privacy experts, industry marketing experts and Google. In anticipation of privacy concerns, the patent proactively faces the issues: anonymized data and opt-out privileges are two suggestions.

"To protect individual privacy, personal identifying data may be removed from the data and provided to the advertisers as anonymous analytics. In one embodiment, users may be given opt-in or opt-out privileges to control the type of data being gathered, when the data is being gathered, or how the gathered data may be used or with whom it may be shared."

The patent also suggests that individually identifying data be encrypted for communication between device and server system, to further protect privacy.

Debate at this stage, though, is premature. The patent, for one, filed in 2011, never mentions Google Glass, only with reference to a head-mounted gaze tracking device. Most important, this is a patent, not a product announcement. Patents at times do develop into real products and services but others do not. Time will tell if this patent evolves into advertising's new relationships with Google Glass.

Explore further: Prototype display uses eyeglass prescription to allow for viewing devices without glasses

More information: Patent URL
marketingland.com/pay-per-gaze… g-google-glass-55714

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User comments : 10

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Ophelia
5 / 5 (3) Aug 18, 2013
I don't understand why advertisers would pay Google for offline ad viewing. If they've already invested money in a billboard so someone walking or driving down a street will see it, why pay Google again? I can see some small benefit, perhaps, in knowing if people are even looking at it, but that is just added cost to that of already putting the stupid thing up.

I also don't see many people "opting" in to this unless they are paid somehow. Otherwise, what is the benefit to them? Particularly with respect to offline ads.
BSD
1.7 / 5 (12) Aug 18, 2013
Who cares? You would look like fucking idiot walking around with Google Glass on your face anyway.
Michael7171
5 / 5 (1) Aug 18, 2013
Regarding the privacy issue, if it were metadata why would I care if Google charged someone for me looking at one of their movie posters. As to why would they pay, they would be getting an additional form of feedback about public reaction to their advertising.
scott_rhoads_18
2 / 5 (4) Aug 18, 2013
I think that some of these ads will be virtual. Google is patenting the hell out of this stuff and will soon take over the world. If you walk by a Ford Mustang for example, Google Glass will recognize it and tell you where to get the best deal in town on one, in the side bar. You can then blink in a certain way to get more info!
dtxx
1 / 5 (8) Aug 18, 2013
This will be much more relevant in the future, and I think Google is mostly trying to set themselves up for a revenue stream from licensing. Sure, Google Glass looks fucking retarded to wear, and very few people have them. But it's not to hard to imagine a near future where similar technology is built seamlessly into sunglasses, corrective glasses, and eventually implanted ocular devices. This way, Google will possibly be able to sue those manufacturers or extract patent licensing revenue.
ScooterG
1.3 / 5 (12) Aug 18, 2013
Google's advertising schemes are apparently designed by twenty-somethings who have no real world experience in sales and/or customer service.

If I visit a website, I'm tracked and followed and hounded and harangued with ads from that company everywhere I go until I get aggravated and dump my cookies.

Any advertiser that would turn their hard-earned customer list over to google to badger with incessant ads is a damn fool.

Any salesman will tell you that annoyed customers don't buy much product.
vertex
not rated yet Aug 19, 2013
I would like the community to rate this comment based on your projections of Google Glass being a must-have for everyday living.
alfie_null
1 / 5 (1) Aug 19, 2013
How will I be viewed if I wear Google Glass? I'm assured by people who are unable to express themselves without falling back on vulgarities, that they'll think poorly of me. Ask me if I care.

As the patent has been awarded, the clock is ticking.

Aside from advertising, outgrowth of this technology has potential for anybody who produces visual media. Figure out what works and what doesn't in a video or a movie, for instance.

Maybe even useful in detecting what you're _not_ looking at. As like a lie detector.
Moebius
1 / 5 (5) Aug 19, 2013
Are you kidding me? They expect us to use a device that will charge us money for accidentally looking in the wrong direction?
dtxx
1 / 5 (6) Aug 20, 2013
How will I be viewed if I wear Google Glass? I'm assured by people who are unable to express themselves without falling back on vulgarities, that they'll think poorly of me. Ask me if I care.

As the patent has been awarded, the clock is ticking.

Aside from advertising, outgrowth of this technology has potential for anybody who produces visual media. Figure out what works and what doesn't in a video or a movie, for instance.

Maybe even useful in detecting what you're _not_ looking at. As like a lie detector.


Your ideas are very stupid. But not as stupid as insisting someone can't have a valid point because their choice of words offends your uptight morality. "Mommy, he said a bad word!"

By the way, have you seen how people wearing Glass look? Doubt it.