Newspaper article International Herald Tribune

Patent Connects Google Glass User's Gaze to Ad Revenue

Newspaper article International Herald Tribune

Patent Connects Google Glass User's Gaze to Ad Revenue

Article excerpt

In the patent, Google describes a system that would identify ads that a person wearing a head-mounted device had seen, allowing Google to charge the advertiser.

Google wants to see what you see. And then, of course, make money from those images.

The company was recently awarded a patent that puts forth an idea for pay-per-gaze advertising -- a way in which people interacting with ads in the real world could be analyzed in the digital world.

In the patent, which was filed in May 2011 and granted last week, Google claims that "a head-mounted gaze tracking device" -- presumably Google Glass -- would send images that lie in the direction the person wearing the device was looking to a server. The system would then identify real-world ads that the person wearing the gadget had seen, allowing Google to then charge the advertiser.

"Pay-per-gaze advertising need not be limited to online advertisements, but rather can be extended to conventional advertisement media including billboards, magazines, newspapers and other forms of conventional print media," states the patent, which was discovered by Fast Company.

As Google notes in the filing, advertisers can be charged a fee based on whether a person looks directly at an ad in the real world, and the fee can change based on how long they interact with the ad.

Eye-tracking ads are not unprecedented. Companies including Umoove, Tobii Technology and Cube26 already offer technology to track eye movements, gestures and even emotional responses to advertising.

Google does not show any advertising in Glass. It goes so far as to forbid app developers from selling apps or ads, too. But there have been hints that Google will eventually show ads, its core business, and the company has consistently said it expects Glass to be profitable.

One of the first places to expect ads is through Google Now, the predictive search app that shows information without the user asking for it and is particularly suited to Glass. …

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