Facebook patent explores smartphone camera emotion detection to deliver relevant content

Credit: United States Patent Application 20150242679

(Tech Xplore)—Think about it, that so-important entity in your life, Facebook, getting to know your emotional state and delivering content suited to how you feel.

Sound good? Many sites did not like the way it sounded, after discovering what CB Insights spotted. They found a patent application from Facebook in 2014 titled "Techniques for emotion detection and delivery." The was published on August 27, 2015.

The involves emotion technology whereby Facebook would see users through their or webcams and match how the users feel with content delivery. Users would receive catered content such as videos, pictures and ads.

Many headlines reacted to the patent information with words like "spy," "creepy" and "invasive."

The patent discusses possible embodiments for marrying emotion detection with suitable content delivery.

"A storage component may store the identified emotion type. An (API) component may receive a request from one or more applications for emotion type and, in response to the request, return the identified emotion type."

James Billington, International Business Times: "Facebook, however, will always have to notify members in advance of any changes. Yet, this would likely be a hard sell."

If such a feature were to be put into play, how would Facebook benefit?

The Daily Dot: This could enable it to send tailored advertisements to members. Mark Jones of Komando.com said users would received targeted content based on their emotions.

How it works is that while a user scrolls through Facebook on their smartphone, the app monitors their emotions by capturing facial expressions with the phones' camera, Jones said. "When a user sees a post that makes them happy, Facebook will know to show them similar content, like targeted ads or related news item."

International Business Times said this concept involved analyzing people "through the camera in real time while they browse online and if it recognises you looking happy, bored or sad, it would deliver an advert fitting your emotion." Billington offered an example. "If you were forlorn, for example, it would be able to serve an ad to perk you up, or know what products you had previously looked at online and put them under your nose at just the right time."

Aatif Sulleyman in The Independent also posed an example: if you looked away from your screen when a video of a kitten played, Facebook would stop showing similar type of videos in your Feed.

Any technology involving talk about cameras to capture imaging data on users in 2017 promptly dismays those who fear an Orwellian state of affairs/ In reality, though, this is still a patent-stage piece of information with no indication of implementation any time soon.

Billington said, "A Facebook spokesperson provided IBTimesUK with the following statement: "We often seek patents for technology we never implement, and patents should not be taken as an indication of future plans."

Explore further: 'Emotional contagion' sweeps Facebook

More information: United States Patent Application 20150242679: pdfaiw.uspto.gov/.aiw?PageNum= … 9&IDKey=47BC4614A23D

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