According to Slate Magazine:

Verizon Files Patent for Creepy Device To Watch You While You Watch TV


The company has filed a patent, published last week, for a system designed to be used in the home to target advertisements at people. Using a combination of image and audio sensors, it would detect actions in your living room while you were watching TV. These sensors, deploying facial and profile recognition, would pick up “physical attributes” like skin color, facial features, and even hair length, and also detect “voice attributes” to help determine the tone of your voice, your accent, and the language you speak. Inanimate objects aren’t off-limits—the technology could also spot beer cans and wall art.

  • Oh god! It's 1984 all over again. – Ian Dec 17 '12 at 9:53
  • Didn't Microsoft apply for similar kind of patents to use in computer devices? – vartec Dec 18 '12 at 13:11
  • Isn't this offtopic now that SE opened Ask Patents? – user5341 Dec 18 '12 at 18:33

Yes. As directly referenced in the article, there is a patent that was granted in November:

The granting of a US patent does not mean that:

  • The invention exists as a physical technology.
  • That Verizon have any plans to build such a technology.
  • That no-one else will come forward with prior art that has been overlooked.

[Reference: Basic understanding of patents, and the possible lack of plans is mentioned in the original article]

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