updated 11:10 pm EDT, Thu March 22, 2012
Filing describes monitoring system for phone calls
The US Patent and Trademark Office has granted Google patent protection for technology that monitors ambient conditions, including sound, and uses the data to serve customized advertisements. The patent describes a wide range of input sensors, such as thermometers, hygrometers, and microphones.
The authors suggest such technology is simply an extension of current capabilities, such as local advertisements that are based on a user's location. The search giant could provide advertisements specific to cold weather conditions, using the sensor data to improve answers to search queries.
Although an extreme interpretation suggests Google could use the technology to monitor user communications such as phone calls, the company has yet announce that it plans to develop the capabilities. [via The Next Web]