Amazon has been granted a patent on a new tech for gift cards that will help the giver limit exactly what the person they gift the card to can purchase. Amazon applied for the patent titled “customizing gift instrument experiences for recipients” back in 2008 and the patent was granted recently. In a nutshell, the patent boils down to parental controls for the products the gift card can be used to purchase.
The way the patent outlines the new gift card the person giving the card would be able to recommend items that the person receiving the card might like. The giver would also be able to limit the purchases to specific things. Presumably that would mean if you don’t want the receiver to use it for video games you could restrict that category.
The part that is a bit more intrusive for the receiver of the gift card is that the sender can get a report back on what the person they gave the card to actually purchased. I can see the use for the restrictions. If an uncle for instance wants to send an 11-year-old a virtual gift card for Christmas, but wants to be sure the kid uses it for books or toys and not violent video games this would allow that.