Here's another patent application to keep an eye on, following on the heels of Microsoft's patent app for a TV that counts noses in order to charge each viewer for content, potentially turning your living room into something akin to a porn store viewing booth or bus stop TV -- "please insert $2 to continue viewing." Verizon's patent application also involves a device eyeballing your living room, this time in an effort to target advertising.
Verizon's living room intruder is a DVR that observes "ambient action," identifies it and scans its ad database for an appropriate ad to serve up during the next commercial break. This sounds about as creepy as an ad exec watching you through your open living room drapes in order to decide which flyers to shove in your mailbox. Rest assured, Verizon's use of the phrase "ambient action" is designed for maximum innocuousness. It's not until you get to the list of possible "ambient actions" that the creep factor really kicks in.
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