Google has just patented a system that can determine where you are by the background noise your cell phone provides.
You’re attending a baseball game and call Google’s 411 service for information about a nearby restaurant. The cheers of the crowd and the sounds of the announcer are picked up by your phone. Google’s system analyzes the background noise, takes into account your location, determines that you’re at a ballgame and delivers related ads or links to your phone with sports scores and news.
What if you are at a concert hall? Google provides appropriate ads.
If you have requested information, that is not a threat to your privacy. But the very fact that Google can do this tells us that others can do it, too. Technology spreads.
Those are some of the actual examples described by Google in a patent just received by the company for “advertising based on environmental conditions.”
The technology is not limited to noise. It can sense temperature, too.
This tells me that advertising is getting more targeted. This is good for anyone trying to sell something. No one wants to pay for renting lists full of people who are not interested in the product or service.
This means that it will become harder to use “old media” to stay in business — kind of like relying 100% on the Yellow Pages.
Your employer had better be aware of new technologies and their implications for business. Otherwise, you may be looking for a new employer.