Apple mood-based advertising patent is another hint of company’s new obsession with body sensors



An intriguing patent application by Apple to deliver mood-based advertising contains what could be read as a strong hint that the rumored iWatch will, as we’ve speculated in the past, major on sensor technology.

In addition to describing ways of assessing mood by such clues as likes in social media, type of applications used and music playing, the patent also lists physical characteristics that could be used:

Mood-associated physical characteristics can include heart rate; blood pressure; adrenaline level; perspiration rate; body temperature; vocal expression, e.g. voice level, voice pattern, voice stress, etc.; movement characteristics; facial expression; etc … 

Author Ad Placeholder
Will only appear on redesign env.

While there could be numerous ways to capture some of this data, for example voice analysis via Siri use, much of it would require the use of new sensors.

We’ve stated on many occasions that it’s important not to set too much store by Apple patents, as only a tiny number of the many things it patents ever find their way into actual products, but this one certainly caught our attention.

A separate application describes a method by which the sapphire could be attached to a device in place of a glass cover. Apple introduced a sapphire coating for the camera lens of the iPhone 5, and on the iPhone 5s extended its use to the Touch ID sensor.

While sapphire is even more scratch-resistant than Gorilla Glass, it would currently be prohibitively expensive to use it to cover an iPhone screen. However, there has been speculation that new techniques could reduce the cost to more realistic levels.

FTC: We use income earning auto affiliate links. More.

You’re reading 9to5Mac — experts who break news about Apple and its surrounding ecosystem, day after day. Be sure to check out our homepage for all the latest news, and follow 9to5Mac on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn to stay in the loop. Don’t know where to start? Check out our exclusive stories, reviews, how-tos, and subscribe to our YouTube channel


  1. bIg HilL - 9 years ago

    How much of this data will they be fielding back to the NSA, once it is in the wild?

    • No company has openly given info to the NSA. The NSA has legally provided warrants for all of the data these companies provide. However, I believe the NSA prefers to hack devices directly. Anyways, why the hell would they care about your mood?

  2. zoidbert - 9 years ago

    Hey, Apple; read my mood: WHERE THE FRAK ARE THE NEW DAMN THUNDERBOLT DISPLAYS? It’s been over 860 days since you released the last one in 2011. GET WITH THE FRAKKING PROGRAM AND RELEASE SOME NEW MONITORS.

    I’m an enigma, I know.

  3. Alex (@Metascover) - 9 years ago

    Sapphire glass isn’t tougher than Gorilla glass. It’s harder. Big difference.

    • rahhbriley - 9 years ago

      Thank you! I work in the Jewelry industry and this bothers me so much when I read that!! Almost as much as when people say a diamond is indestructible, or can’t be broken. Sapphire and Diamond are a hardness of 9 and 10 respectively, that only alludes to the scratch resistance of the material, not it’s toughness or susceptibility to breaking . Sapphire makes great sense for the touchID button and the camera lens of an iPhone, and the iWatch display. But for the display on the iPhone? Eh..not so sure, we drop those a lot more. But maybe they’ve figured something out. Lab grown sapphire is a cool beast.

      • Ben Lovejoy - 9 years ago

        Thanks, both: that’s a useful distinction.

  4. The voice analysis via Siri is very interesting because in fitness we use a test called the “talk test” it’s relatively accurate at judging exertion from the ability to talk and exercise and it can be coupled with a heart rate for a valuable indicator of VO2 max.

    • Ben Lovejoy - 9 years ago

      Interesting – while I knew I couldn’t cycle up a steep hill and maintain a conversation at the same time, I didn’t know that was an actual test :-)


Avatar for Ben Lovejoy Ben Lovejoy

Ben Lovejoy is a British technology writer and EU Editor for 9to5Mac. He’s known for his op-eds and diary pieces, exploring his experience of Apple products over time, for a more rounded review. He also writes fiction, with two technothriller novels, a couple of SF shorts and a rom-com!

Ben Lovejoy's favorite gear