Landline phone patent suggests ad-subsidised calls

Anyone remember the Amstrad E-m@iler?  An overpriced and generally rubbish home phone which was supposed to bring email access to the grubby-fingered masses, its already expensive costs were apparently subsidised by the occasional advert being shown on its display.  Well, it looks like there's an inventor in California who thinks it's a damn good idea, except he's harnessing the omnipresent Google adverts system.

Adverts themed by time of display, location, demographic of viewer and preset personal preference would, if selected, subsidise the cost of calls made from the phone.

"High end automobile advertisements could be sent to homes on certain streets or areas in which real estate prices are known to be high" Patent application

Requiring an internet connection to serve up the latest ads, the patent also details a number of time-saving ideas such as a family storing their grocery shopping list on the phone which is then emailed ahead to the local store so as to be ready for collection or, alternatively, delivery.

So far, so good, but it would be undoubtedly spooky if they factored voice-recognition into the mix.  Then, just like Gmail picks out keywords from your correspondence to bring up topical adverts, subjects of conversation could prompt pertinent sales-pitches.  You'd never ring the sexual health clinic again...

Patent [via mad4mobilephones]