Apple patent makes phone, tablet second screen for TV

Jun 24, 2014
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Apple patent makes phone, tablet second screen for TV

If you thought product placement in TV was bad enough, a new Apple patent might just make it worse. The company has been awarded a patent that will discover what brands might be on the show you’re watching, then send a push notification to your smartphone or tablet giving you more info about those products. It could even offer a way to buy the items you’re seeing on the big screen.


The patent was filed a few years ago, but granted today. By offering up better detail about what is on the big screen, we’d likely get some offbeat questions answered. If you’ve ever wondered what shirt an actor had on, or where they were filming so you could visit, this might give you that interesting info.

The patent could also lead to deep intrusion, where ads for all kinds of products are flashing across our screens while we watch TV. We see this elsewhere with information about a show we’re watching, but this one digs a bit deeper by including ads based on products in a show. The patent doesn’t aim to give us a hand, per se; it’s goal is selling ad space.

With language like “a viewer might admire the curtains in a scene, but assume that they would cost too much to be worth buying. Such a viewer would not bother to track them down and would never realize that the same curtains could be purchased for a price that he could afford”, it’s clear the patent is aimed at pushing ad revenue. The patent also has language for player controls, so if this were limited to Apple smartphones and tablets, it might also be limited to Apple TV.

Via: The Register


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