Apple's Media-Skipping Patent Targets Content -- Perhaps Ads? -- Deemed 'Not Of Interest To A User'
In the wake of Dish's AutoHop technology comes an Apple patent that could mean "ad skipping" to some. But read closely.
Seems the new technology would allow users of digital entertainment to automatically switch to another digital device or file when a bit of advertising appears.
Say you’re on the Pandora music app, but not a paying customer -- just one of those people who use it like a radio, where music comes with advertising. But you really don't want to listen to that advertising. So the app automatically switches you to a bit of other audio or video instead.
While interesting, the Apple patent isn't that all different from manual behavior that digitally minded people might already be using. Waiting for some content from Discovery's "Shark Week," you also have to wait impatiently for pre-roll spot to run its course. So at this time, you may already be looking at your emails or shooting a quick text to one of your friends on your smartphone.
Like Dish Network's aim with its new Hopper DVR, the Apple app would allow consumers to do what they want to do more efficiently – that is, avoid advertising and messaging.
Technically, the patent doesn't use words like "commercial avoidance" or "advertising skipping." Instead, according to Cnet, it is described as "seamlessly switching media playback between a media broadcast, such as a radio broadcast, and media from a local media library."
Seamless switching occurs when the respective device "determines that an upcoming media item in a media broadcast is not of interest to a user."
Not of interest. We know what that means. Of course, perhaps you could also set the device to avoid any content containing Tom Cruise stomping couches, cats chasing dogs, "Jackass"-themed videos, or wild car chases/crashes through city highway tunnels featuring Rosie O'Donnell.
In other words, Apple could help viewers switch from programming to commercials. Like any good technology-minded company, Apple can see many sides. In theory, at least.