Google seeks to bring ads to phones?

By Justin Mann on July 17, 2009, 3:13 PM
Google's ad services may take an unusual turn in the future. Recently, a patent was filed by the search giant for a technology called “Ringback Advertising”, in which advertisements can be delivered during “downtime” to any modern phone system. That could include when a call is on hold, being dialed or other silent times. The reasoning is that when a phone is held against someone's ear, a lot of valuable advertising time is wasted while they listen to hold music or just plain silence.

Clearly, Google's patent could take a turn for the surreal. The article brings out numerous potential flaws in the plan. Aside from the annoyance factor, Google could run into problems trying to sell this service. Advertisers may not want to buy up tiny blips of time or may be concerned about competitors stealing their silence. The patent is generous and wide, giving a lot of room to interpret.

It isn't all bad, either. There are areas where such a system could be feasible without aggravating everyone involved. Imagine an advertising-based VoIP service which allows free calling across the world, at the expense of having to listen to an ad when dialing.

Exactly how they intend to implement this remains to be seen. You've got to give Google some credit for the idea, though, and if any company has the technological clout to make this real it’s them. But is it something we want? Of all the places I can deal with advertising, phone territory is likely not among them. How about you?




User Comments: 13

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Relic Relic, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

Can't wait to have ads being beamed into my dreams.

polidiotic said:

How about they stay the f' away from my phone with their bullsh*t ads. ;]

Worst... idea... ever.

Wendig0 Wendig0, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Agreed polidiotic. This is NOT a good idea.

captaincranky captaincranky, TechSpot Addict, said:

Wow, you could have knocked me over with a feather when I learned that Google wanted to place more ads in more places. Um, April Fool?

BlindObject said:

Horrible idea.

tengeta tengeta said:

.....So basically what they are admitting is because there isn't advertising going on, that IT COULD BE? What future are we giving ourselves here?

"Why sleep when we could give you meth and 6 hours of commercials instead?"

Google, I hate thee. Severely.

Tekkaraiden Tekkaraiden said:

Bad enough I get solicited on my home phone and email really not impressed to get solicited on my cell phone. Especially since it costs ME money.

Tedster Tedster, Techspot old timer....., said:

terrible idea. I am already paying well over $150 a month for two cell phones. I do not want advertising if i am paying this much unless my cell phone bill is drastically slashed.

Guest said:

There has to be a trade off, I'm more than happy for my GMail to display some ads in return for the service I get in return. It seems like a bargain to be honest. If something similar is done here (like the example in the article) then I'm more than happy to hear some (perhaps even relavant) ads while I'm waiting for someone to pickup on the other end of my free long distance phone call. Also, think of how this could spur companies to pull their finger out with regard to call centres. Are they going to be so keen to leave you hanging around on hold when they know that the person they're putting on hold could be listening to a competitor's advertisement in the meantime? Calm down with the knee-jerk stereotypical reactions and see how things pan out (if they ever do).

Guest said:

Welcome to Idiocracy

mrturtle said:

With the amount of advertisements we humans keep transmitting all over the place I'm surprised that aliens (assuming that there is any and they have the technology to receive the transmissions and reach our planet) haven't unleashed their giant lazors of flesh melting death upon us yet.

Maybe in twenty years or so when they receive the shamwow add?

Bun-Bun said:

I thought google was one of those good companies...

Now I see there true side...

This makes me very sad.

They want to fight spyware/adware and then they go and do it themselves? Talk about a bunch of hypocrits.

T77 T77 said:

please leave me and my phone alone!

what a horrible idea! Google cant think about anything but ads

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