back to article Apple seeks patent for mood-sensing technology

Apple is seeking a patent on something it calls “Inferring user mood based on user and group characteristic data” that its application says would figure out how you are feeling and “... then deliver content that is selected, at least in part, based on the inferred mood.” The patent application observes that “While the …


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  1. Gray Ham

    "based on the fact that you just threw your iPhone off a cliff, it appears you may be somewhat irritable this morning"

  2. Denarius Silver badge

    Oh great, re-inforcement

    so if one is feeling down, or worse, cheerful, the adds reinforce that ? Much worse when adds for things/services get served that reinforce a bad mood because some sales weasel feels one is susceptible to buying ? I have observed that the worst response to feeling blue is have some one or thing try to cheer one up. The consequent rage might backfire. Always hope, admittedly feeble, that even the USSA IP mob might knock this idea back.

  3. dssf

    INT WTF is the USPTO Smoking if This Patent Is Approved?

    This patent better have limited scope.



    -- I create a forum rich in mood and attitude flags for users to select, honor system based

    -- Users inject smiles between text, speak their minds (honestly, hopefully)

    -- I have the backend database collect metrics or values on EVERYTHING, since THAT is what databases do

    -- Scripts look for key words in the dialog/discussions/links/flags scanned

    -- An ad repo, pre-marked with ranges of flags, is scanned and based on the tension, tenor, pace, and mood and other mode-monitoring, content is flagged-up, in ranges of sensitivity, socio-economics, topic, and other information pre-disclosed by the participant/s targetted.

    HOW can the USPTO grant protection in a patent against what I've just posited above? It cannot, not cleanly and honestly, that's for sure. It's way too obvious, and all the forums out there already contain enough info to assist advertisers. Emoticons help, when used honestly, and text-scanning is NOT Apples province, domain, or right to commandeer. That tech has preceded them. I can understand their need to find a new market from which to wrangle income, but, USPTO, this is NOT the market to grant a broad-controls patent for one solitary/sole company to hijack.


  4. Mike Bell

    No targeted ads, thanks

    It's the only way to be sure.

    The bright young things at Apple spectacularly failed to assess my mood right after my mother had died, by sending me a personally addressed email inviting me to buy her a load of stuff for Mother's Day.

    If, on the other hand, the ad-men had resisted the urge to annoy the world on this occasion! there would have been no issue.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Mood sensing works?

    Reiterating @Mike.

    It'll know the instant I am too cheery of my life and serve me ad of Bentley and I'll happily browse its website for all the wallpapers. But, after I have passed that happy moment, I have so much distaste for those rich filthy things that cannot go without a persuading ad.

    So, if advertisers want a real brand building, they should go back and put their brands on buildings. I'll see Bentley everyday and not feel offended at the same time.

  6. frank ly

    The inevitable

    "Apple's unobtrusive mood-detection plans rely on sniffing “recently consumed content” such as “a digital media item, ...."

    Hello, you seem to be feeling horny. Can I help you with that?

    1. wayward4now
      Big Brother

      Re: The inevitable

      Shhhhh!! next they will try to claim the Wankometer, which is my work in progress. It measures eye-pupil dilation when scantily clad members of the opposite (and/or same) sex are presented. Since everyone knows that pr0n is $profits$, I'll get stinkin' rich and buy that Bentley!

  7. Pete 2 Silver badge

    No need

    For Apple, mood sensing is pretty easy.

    When you first buy the product: Joy

    When you first try to use it: Confusion

    When you show it to all your friends: Pride

    When you get the first monthly bill: Horror

    When it breaks: Depression

    When you try to get it fixed: Annoyance

    When the next version comes out, 6 months after you bought the "latest": Anger

    1. Stoneshop Silver badge

      Re: No need

      When it breaks: Depression

      It won't be able to sense that as it's broken, so no need to put effort in getting sensing that part of the emotive spectrum right

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: No need

      I would have thought the mood was a consistent "smug", but your list has more insight :D

      1. Fluffy Bunny

        Re: No need

        If they own an iphone, the correct attitude is "stupid".

  8. Big_Ted

    I for one hope Apple get a wide covering patent on this

    Then there will be a much lower possibility of it ever affecting me as I own no Apple kit and don't desire any either.

    Please Please Please make this an Appe only system......

  9. Crisp

    I can quite see this happening...

    iThing: What's wrong?

    User: Well if you don't know then I'm not telling you!

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Soon to be seen on a Samsung near you?? ;)

    <cynic> Do you reckon Samsung just trawl all the Apple IP for ideas and figure they can just duke it out in court and hope by the time the offending handset gets banned they come out with a newer version? </cynic>

  11. Shady

    How apple engineers plan to implement

    if(device.rebrander ==


    mood = "sense of overwhelming superiority, joy, and happiness approaching sexual nirvana"




    mood = "sexually inadequate, anorak wearing loser with nasal hair and BO"


  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Required XKCD

  13. Darryl

    "You seem to be depressed. Might I recommend a few bottles of this fine Merlot?"

  14. sjsmoto

    it didn't work too well in the future

    Toaster: Howdy doodly do. How's it going? I'm Talkie, Talkie Toaster, your chirpy breakfast companion. Talkie's the name, toasting's the game. Anyone like any toast?

    Lister: Look, I don't want any toast, and he doesn't want any toast. In fact, no one around here wants any toast. Not now, not ever. No toast.

    Toaster: How 'bout a muffin?

    Lister: Or muffins. We don't like muffins around here. We want no muffins, no toast, no teacakes, no buns, baps, baguettes or bagels, no croissants, no crumpets, no pancakes, no potato cakes and no hot-cross buns and definitely no smegging flapjacks.

    Toaster: Aah, so you're a waffle man.

  15. Fluffy Bunny
    Thumb Down

    In the old days, an inventor had to have a working prototype - that's why Arthur C. Clarke wasn't able to patent geostationary satelites. Does Apple have a working prototype? Almost certainly not, it's just a thought bubble. They're just patenting this in case somebody else develops it so they can sue the pants off them.

  16. Paul Hovnanian Silver badge

    Apple user detected

    Mood: Overly smug.

  17. Steven Roper

    Let Apple have it!

    Actually I believe this is one patent Apple should be allowed to have. In fact, I'd like for them to have complete and ironclad control over all emotion-sensing technology. Why?

    Because that would mean, since I will never buy an Apple product or even allow one in my house, I wouldn't have to worry about my phone, tablet, computer, TV, fridge or toaster analysing my emotional states for advertisers to exploit; an insidious and vile misapplication of technology by any standard. If Apple had control of that, it means nobody else would be able to use it, and I could safely watch Game of Thrones on my (non-Apple) TV without worrying about some advertising agency scanning my face and spotting that I have the hots for Cersei Lannister.

  18. wayward4now

    Tech Support Call Centers Need This

    ...while you're cursing a blue streak at the stupid canned

    "Before I connect you to technical support, may I suggest you try..."

    F-YOU! Get me a #$%& HUMAN! Aiiiiieeeeee!!! Someone just SHOOT ME!! I've been on hold for a f'ing HOUR! Stupid machine! Yahhh! Yahhh!

    "Thank you for waiting, your patience is appreciated ... and we'll be right with you"

    They need a mood sensor for damn sure...

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