FourthWall Media said the U.S. Patent Office has “allowed” a patent for the vendor’s Dynamic Application Insertion Technology that embeds targeting data and applications directly into the video stream rather than by downloading that information to the set-top box.
Allowing the patent completes an important phase in the patent-issuing process. The U.S. Patent Office will assign a specific number to FourthWall’s invention at a later date, a vendor spokesman said.
FourthWall said its in-stream approach to targeted advertising will deliver more agility to TV advertisers that are build targeted ad campaigns.
“Unlike other targeted ad technologies where a separate ‘switching’ application and the corresponding set-top box targeting information need to be downloaded ahead of time, this technology embeds the switching app in the video stream which then selects the right version of the ad to display in the targeted home,” said Dr. Louis Slothouber, FourthWall’s chief scientist and co-founder, in a statement. “The advantage of this technology is that it allows for much more dynamic targeting of television commercials, enabling advertisers to change their targeting criteria without having to wait for a new application or targeting information to propagate across the system. Additionally, combined with FourthWall’s Ad Widgets product, this makes for a complete end-to-end solution that includes targeted interactive overlays and reporting data.”
By contrast, vendors such as Invidi Technologies use systems in which set-top boxes or other end-user devices make the ad-placement decisions. Multichannel News reported in March that Comcast planned to have the Invidi system deployed across its U.S. footprint by the end of 2014, expanding a customer base for the vendor that already includes DirecTV, Dish Network and Verizon.
FourthWall has not announced any takers for its targeted ad system yet, but the company’s historic partners and customers for other products include the Comcast Media Center, Time Warner Cable, Charter Communications, Bright House Networks, Dish Network, Cisco Systems, Motorola (now part of Arris), and Pace.