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Pay-per-gaze? Google patent proposes ad system

Posted August 19, 2013

Pay-per-gaze? Google patent proposes ad system

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 patent, “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, eye tracking system 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-gaze”advertising.

Of course, Google would not throw cereal boxes 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.


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