Google would love to know how readers on its site react to content. The company has even gone so far as to apply for a patent on ways to collect information captured by a device’s video camera.
Many online companies collect customer information, but Google proposes to gauge readers’ reaction to content through video and audio analysis, eye-tracking, head position, body inclination, and physical expression, according to a report in InformationWeek. There’s no mention of advertising in the application, but understanding user interest would certainly be useful.
“Providers of the media content find great value in determining the user’s attentiveness to the displayed media content, as knowing the user’s interest in media content can help media providers tailor future content or recommendations more closely to the user’s interest,” Google wrote in the patent application. “Accordingly, in some implementations, a user’s interest in displayed media is determined by analyzing visual data of the users (such as visual data from photographs or video) for physical indicia of user interest.”