While it seems clear that both Amazon and Google are eager to become a digital presence in our homes, it’s not quite clear exactly why. Patents under consideration by each company show that they may be looking to use smart devices to listen more closely to what goes on in your home.
It kind of makes you wonder what exactly are they up to.
These patents were first discovered by consumer advocacy group Consumer Watchdog in December 2017 and were reported last weekend by the New York Times.
One set of patents from Google and its subsidiary company Nest Labs, suggests that audio monitoring could be used to detect children getting into ‘mischief’ by analyzing speech and pitch patterns, and programmed to ‘provide a verbal warning.’ The patent also claims that it could possibly monitor the ‘emotional state,’ body temperature, audio signatures, and facial expressions of occupants of the home.
Amazon also has a patent, called a ‘voice sniffer algorithm’ which could potentially analyze real-time audio and send targeted advertisements. Amazon said they take ‘privacy seriously,’ and their patents could take years to receive.
Google offered a similar response to the reports.
Following the news over 50 million Facebook profiles were hacked, developments like the ones in progress by Google and Amazon raise the question of privacy versus progress, don’t you think?