Apple file strange new patent for ‘mood-sensing’ technology

Callum Tennent
February 3, 2014

iPhone 5s owners should already be fully familiar with their device’s super cool thumbprint scanner. A joy to use (when it works, which in fairness seems to be most of the time), it makes the user feel like they’re living in a high-tech futurescape – which is quite impressive seeing as it basically just unlocks the phone.

Deciding that biometrics is the road to go down, Apple have filed a new patent for something all together more mysterious – mood-sensing technology.

The catchy-named ‘Inferring user mood based on user and group characteristic data’ patent can be read in full here on the US Patent and Trademark Office’s website. Whilst the abstract description of the patent is pretty vague and jargon-heavy, what is clear is that Apple are planning for a sort of speechless Siri.

The patent seems to indicate that the technology will be utilised to better deliver targeted content to the user. Just what this content takes the form of is yet to be seen – it could be anything from ads (boo!) to music and movies (yay!). Perhaps Apple are even working on their own StumbleUpon-style of random content aggregation.

What this potentially means is that through analysing what the user has done recently, be it where they’ve been and what the weather is like via geotagging or what they’ve searched for via their browser and YouTube/Spotify history, Apple will then try to infer some sort of digital-moodprint.

The patent was only filed at the end of January so it could be a long time until we see just what Apple intend to do with this theoretical software but, if past revelations are anything to go by, expect it to be a game-changer.

About the Author

Callum Tennent

International playboy/tech journalist.

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