[LINK] Now Google tracking follows you out of cyberspace

Bernard Robertson-Dunn brd at iimetro.com.au
Fri May 22 10:51:15 AEST 2009

Now Google tracking follows you out of cyberspace
Making your life easier by knowing what you're doing
By Bill Ray
Posted in Mobile, 21st May 2009 14:27 GMT

Not content with knowing what you're doing online, Google has patented a 
process using the accelerometer in your phone to work out what you're 
doing offline too, all in the interest of improving your experience.

Android devices might start working out what we're doing based on how 
we're moving, and make decisions as to what we'd like them to do based 
on that information, as outlined in Google's latest patent spotted by 
Unwired View.

Mobile phones have, for some time, been able to automatically switch 
modes based on the current time - so calls can automatically be 
forwarded outside office hours, or novelty ring tones can take over at 
five o'clock. Some smartphone applications can change modes dependent on 
a GPS-established location, but Google is more interested in launching 
applications based on the motion of the phone.

The patent is mostly concerned with the details of creating, 
distributing and storing accelerometer profiles that reflect specific 
environments in a very Google fashion. One user travels on a train, and 
their handset happens to get a GPS fix and can therefore link the 
motions with being on a train, or perhaps even on a specific line. It 
seems unlikely today, but accelerometers could well improve.

That pattern of movement can then be uploaded to Google and shared with 
other devices that can than work out what they're doing. The same thing 
applies to someone using a new exercise machine, or travelling up an 
escalator - Google builds a database of movement profiles against which 
devices can compare their own experience.

It's not clear why your phone would want to know you're travelling up in 
a lift, but if it could identify that you're in stop-start traffic it 
might start working on an alternative route, or downloading some 
podcasts to keep you entertained.

This is just a patent - making the idea work is some way off - but it's 
another way for Google to keep track of what we're doing as well as 
where we are, so as to improve our lives by working out what we want it 
to do for us.


Bernard Robertson-Dunn
Canberra Australia
brd at iimetro.com.au

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