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Fragmented advertisements for co-located social groups

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Title: Fragmented advertisements for co-located social groups.
Abstract: Systems and methods are disclosed for delivering a fragmented advertisement to a group of users identified as a group of participants for the fragmented advertisement. As used herein, a fragmented advertisement is an advertisement that includes two or more advertisement fragments each to be delivered to a different participant in a group of participants identified for the fragmented advertisement, where the two or more advertisement fragments encourage interaction between participants to achieve a predefined goal of the fragmented advertisement in order to obtain a corresponding advertisement benefit. For example, the predefined goal of a fragmented advertisement may be correctly answering a question (e.g., a trivia question), solving a puzzle, or the like. The advertisement benefit is preferably a coupon for a business, product, or service being advertised by the fragmented advertisement. ...


Browse recent Waldeck Technology, LLC patents - Wilmington, DE, US
Inventors: Scott Curtis, Gregory M. Evans, Christopher M. Amidon
USPTO Applicaton #: #20120066067 - Class: 705 1458 (USPTO) - 03/15/12 - Class 705 


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The Patent Description & Claims data below is from USPTO Patent Application 20120066067, Fragmented advertisements for co-located social groups.

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RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application claims the benefit of provisional patent application Ser. No. 61/289,107, filed Dec. 22, 2009, the disclosure of which is hereby incorporated herein by reference in its entirety.

FIELD OF THE DISCLOSURE

The present disclosure relates to delivering advertisements to a group of users and more specifically relates to delivering a fragmented advertisement to a group of users.

BACKGROUND

The current generation of location-based targeted advertisements tend to be simple, static advertisements that are targeted at individuals. However, in many situations, people travel in groups. For example, in many situations, a person goes to shopping malls with groups of friends. As such, there is a need for a system and method of delivering targeted advertisements to groups of users.

SUMMARY

The present disclosure relates to delivering a fragmented advertisement to a group of users identified as a group of participants for the fragmented advertisement. As used herein, a fragmented advertisement is an advertisement that includes two or more advertisement fragments each to be delivered to a different participant in a group of participants identified for the fragmented advertisement, where the two or more advertisement fragments encourage interaction between participants to achieve a predefined goal of the fragmented advertisement in order to obtain a corresponding advertisement benefit. For example, the predefined goal of a fragmented advertisement may be correctly answering a question (e.g., a trivia question), solving a puzzle, or the like. The advertisement benefit is preferably a coupon for a business, product, or service being advertised by the fragmented advertisement.

In general, a group of participants is identified. The group of participants is preferably a group of co-located users. A fragmented advertisement is then determined for the group of participants. In one embodiment, the fragmented advertisement is selected for the group of participants based on one or more selection criteria such as, for example, an aggregate profile of the group of participants, user profiles of the participants in the group of participants, a location of the group of co-located users, time of day, nearby businesses or other Points of Interest (POIs), advertisement value, or the like. In another embodiment, the fragmented advertisement is generated for the group of participants based on one or more characteristics of the group of participants such as, for example, a number of participants in the group of participants, an aggregate profile of the group of participants, user profiles of the participants in the group of participants, a location of the group of participants, or the like. The fragmented advertisement is then delivered to the group of participants. Thereafter, in one embodiment, a response is received that is indicative of whether the group of participants achieved the predefined goal of the fragmented advertisement. If the group of participants achieved the predefined goal of the fragmented advertisement, then an advertisement benefit for the fragmented advertisement is delivered to the group of participants.

Those skilled in the art will appreciate the scope of the present disclosure and realize additional aspects thereof after reading the following detailed description of the preferred embodiments in association with the accompanying drawing figures.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING FIGURES

The accompanying drawing figures incorporated in and forming a part of this specification illustrate several aspects of the disclosure, and together with the description serve to explain the principles of the disclosure.

FIG. 1 illustrates a system for delivering fragmented advertisements according to one embodiment of the present disclosure;

FIG. 2 is a more detailed illustration of the Mobile Aggregate Profile (MAP) server of FIG. 1 according to one embodiment of the present disclosure;

FIG. 3 is a more detailed illustration of the MAP application of one of the mobile devices of FIG. 1 according to one embodiment of the present disclosure;

FIG. 4 illustrates the operation of the system of FIG. 1 to provide user profiles and current locations of the users of the mobile devices to the MAP server according to one embodiment of the present disclosure;

FIG. 5 illustrates the operation of the system of FIG. 1 to provide user profiles and current locations of the users of the mobile devices to the MAP server according to another embodiment of the present disclosure;

FIG. 6 illustrates exemplary data records that may be used to represent crowds, users, crowd snapshots, and anonymous users according to one embodiment of the present disclosure;

FIGS. 7A through 7D illustrate one embodiment of a spatial crowd formation process that may be used to enable crowd tracking according to one embodiment of the present disclosure;

FIGS. 8A through 8D graphically illustrate the crowd formation process of FIGS. 7A through 7D for a scenario where the crowd formation process is triggered by a location update for a user having no old location;

FIGS. 9A through 9F graphically illustrate the crowd formation process of FIGS. 7A through 7D for a scenario where the new and old bounding boxes overlap;

FIGS. 10A through 10E graphically illustrate the crowd formation process of FIGS. 7A through 7D in a scenario where the new and old bounding boxes do not overlap;

FIG. 11 illustrates a process for creating crowd snapshots according to one embodiment of the present disclosure;

FIG. 12 illustrates the operation of the system to deliver a fragmented advertisement to a group of participants according to one embodiment of the present disclosure;

FIGS. 13A and 13B illustrate the operation of a fragmented advertisement delivery function to deliver a fragmented advertisement to a group of participants and the operation of a master device of one of the participants to receive and distribute the fragmented advertisement, respectively, according to one embodiment of the present disclosure;

FIGS. 14A through 14D graphically illustrate an exemplary fragmented advertisement and a corresponding advertisement benefit according to one embodiment of the present disclosure;

FIG. 15 is a block diagram of the MAP server of FIG. 1 according to one embodiment of the present disclosure; and

FIG. 16 is a block diagram of one of the mobile devices of FIG. 1 according to one embodiment of the present disclosure.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

The embodiments set forth below represent the necessary information to enable those skilled in the art to practice the embodiments and illustrate the best mode of practicing the embodiments. Upon reading the following description in light of the accompanying drawing figures, those skilled in the art will understand the concepts of the disclosure and will recognize applications of these concepts not particularly addressed herein. It should be understood that these concepts and applications fall within the scope of the disclosure and the accompanying claims.

The present disclosure relates to delivering a fragmented advertisement to a group of users identified as a group of participants for the fragmented advertisement. As used herein, a fragmented advertisement is an advertisement that includes two or more advertisement fragments each to be delivered to a different participant in a group of participants identified for the fragmented advertisement, where the two or more advertisement fragments encourage interaction between participants to achieve a predefined goal of the fragmented advertisement in order to obtain a corresponding advertisement benefit. For example, the predefined goal of a fragmented advertisement may be correctly answering a question (e.g., a trivia question), solving a puzzle, or the like. The advertisement benefit is preferably a coupon for a business, product, or service being advertised by the fragmented advertisement.

FIG. 1 illustrates a Mobile Aggregate Profiling (MAP) system 10 (hereinafter “system 10”) that operates to deliver fragmented advertisements to groups of participants according to one embodiment of the present disclosure. Note that the system 10 is exemplary and is not intended to limit the scope of the present disclosure. In this embodiment, the system 10 includes a MAP server 12, one or more profile servers 14, a location server 16, a number of mobile devices 18-1 through 18-N (generally referred to herein collectively as mobile devices 18 and individually as mobile device 18) having associated users 20-1 through 20-N (generally referred to herein collectively as users 20 and individually as user 20), a subscriber device 22 having an associated subscriber 24, and a third-party service 26 communicatively coupled via a network 28. The network 28 may be any type of network or any combination of networks. Specifically, the network 28 may include wired components, wireless components, or both wired and wireless components. In one exemplary embodiment, the network 28 is a distributed public network such as the Internet, where the mobile devices 18 are enabled to connect to the network 28 via local wireless connections (e.g., Wi-Fi® or IEEE 802.11 connections) or wireless telecommunications connections (e.g., 3 G or 4 G telecommunications connections such as GSM, LTE, W-CDMA, or WiMAX® connections).

As discussed below in detail, the MAP server 12 operates to obtain current locations, including location updates, and user profiles of the users 20 of the mobile devices 18. The current locations of the users 20 can be expressed as positional geographic coordinates such as latitude-longitude pairs, and a height vector (if applicable), or any other similar information capable of identifying a given physical point in space in a two-dimensional or three-dimensional coordinate system. Using the current locations and user profiles of the users 20, the MAP server 12 is enabled to provide a number of features such as, but not limited to, forming crowds of users using current locations and/or user profiles of the users 20, generating aggregate profiles for crowds of users, tracking crowds of users, and delivering fragmented advertisements. Note that while the MAP server 12 is illustrated as a single server for simplicity and ease of discussion, it should be appreciated that the MAP server 12 may be implemented as a single physical server or multiple physical servers operating in a collaborative manner for purposes of redundancy and/or load sharing.

In general, the one or more profile servers 14 operate to store user profiles for a number of persons including the users 20 of the mobile devices 18. For example, the one or more profile servers 14 may be servers providing social network services such as the Facebook® social networking service, the MySpace® social networking service, the LinkedIN® social networking service, or the like. As discussed below, using the one or more profile servers 14, the MAP server 12 is enabled to directly or indirectly obtain the user profiles of the users 20 of the mobile devices 18. The location server 16 generally operates to receive location updates from the mobile devices 18 and make the location updates available to entities such as, for instance, the MAP server 12. In one exemplary embodiment, the location server 16 is a server operating to provide Yahoo!\'s Fire Eagle® service.

The mobile devices 18 may be mobile smart phones, portable media player devices, mobile gaming devices, mobile computers (e.g., laptop computers) or the like. Some exemplary mobile devices that may be programmed or otherwise configured to operate as the mobile devices 18 are the Apple® iPhone®, the Palm Pre®, the Samsung Rogue™, the Blackberry Storm™, the Motorola DROID or similar phone running Google\'s Android™ Operating System, an Apple® iPad™, and the Apple® iPod Touch® device. However, this list of exemplary mobile devices is not exhaustive and is not intended to limit the scope of the present disclosure.

The mobile devices 18-1 through 18-N include MAP clients 30-1 through 30-N (generally referred to herein collectively as MAP clients 30 or individually as MAP client 30), MAP applications 32-1 through 32-N (generally referred to herein collectively as MAP applications 32 or individually as MAP application 32), third-party applications 34-1 through 34-N (generally referred to herein collectively as third-party applications 34 or individually as third-party application 34), and location functions 36-1 through 36-N (generally referred to herein collectively as location functions 36 or individually as location function 36), respectively. The MAP client 30 is preferably implemented in software. In general, in the preferred embodiment, the MAP client 30 is a middleware layer operating to interface an application layer (i.e., the MAP application 32 and the third-party applications 34) to the MAP server 12. More specifically, the MAP client 30 enables the MAP application 32 and the third-party applications 34 to request and receive data from the MAP server 12. In addition, the MAP client 30 enables applications, such as the MAP application 32 and the third-party applications 34, to access data from the MAP server 12.

The MAP application 32 is also preferably implemented in software. The MAP application 32 generally provides a user interface component between the user 20 and the MAP server 12. For example, the MAP application 32 may enable the user 20 to initiate crowd search requests or requests for crowd data from the MAP server 12 and presents corresponding data returned by the MAP server 12 to the user 20. The MAP application 32 also enables the user 20 to configure various settings. For example, the MAP application 32 may enable the user 20 to select a desired social networking service (e.g., Facebook®, MySpace®, LinkedIN®, etc.) from which to obtain the user profile of the user 20 and provide any necessary credentials (e.g., username and password) needed to access the user profile from the social networking service.

The third-party applications 34 are preferably implemented in software. The third-party applications 34 operate to access the MAP server 12 via the MAP client 30. The third-party applications 34 may utilize data obtained from the MAP server 12 in any desired manner. As an example, one of the third-party applications 34 may be a gaming application that utilizes crowd data to notify the user 20 of Points of Interest (POIs) or Areas of Interest (AOIs) where crowds of interest are currently located. It should be noted that while the MAP client 30 is illustrated as being separate from the MAP application 32 and the third-party applications 34, the present disclosure is not limited thereto. The functionality of the MAP client 30 may alternatively be incorporated into the MAP application 32 and the third-party applications 34.

The location function 36 may be implemented in hardware, software, or a combination thereof. In general, the location function 36 operates to determine or otherwise obtain the location of the mobile device 18. For example, the location function 36 may be or include a Global Positioning System (GPS) receiver. In addition or alternatively, the location function 36 may include hardware and/or software that enables improved location tracking in indoor environments such as, for example, shopping malls. For example, the location function 36 may be part of or compatible with the InvisiTrack Location System provided by InvisiTrack and described in U.S. Pat. No. 7,423,580 entitled “Method and System of Three-Dimensional Positional Finding” which issued on Sep. 9, 2008, U.S. Pat. No. 7,787,886 entitled “System and Method for Locating a Target using RFID” which issued on Aug. 31, 2010, and U.S. Patent Application Publication No. 2007/0075898 entitled “Method and System for Positional Finding Using RF, Continuous and/or Combined Movement” which published on Apr. 5, 2007, all of which are hereby incorporated herein by reference for their teachings regarding location tracking.

The subscriber device 22 is a physical device such as a personal computer, a mobile computer (e.g., a notebook computer, a netbook computer, a tablet computer, etc.), a mobile smart phone, or the like. The subscriber 24 associated with the subscriber device 22 is a person or entity. In general, the subscriber device 22 enables the subscriber 24 to access the MAP server 12 via a web browser 38 to obtain various types of data, preferably for a fee. For example, the subscriber 24 may pay a fee to have access to crowd data such as aggregate profiles for crowds located at one or more POIs and/or located in one or more AOIs, pay a fee to track crowds, or the like. Note that the web browser 38 is exemplary. In another embodiment, the subscriber device 22 is enabled to access the MAP server 12 via a custom application.

Lastly, the third-party service 26 is a service that has access to data from the MAP server 12 such as, for example, aggregate profiles for one or more crowds at one or more POIs or within one or more AOIs. Based on the data from the MAP server 12, the third-party service 26 operates to provide a service such as, for example, targeted advertising. For example, the third-party service 26 may obtain anonymous aggregate profile data for one or more crowds located at a POI and then provide targeted advertising to known users located at the POI based on the anonymous aggregate profile data. Note that while targeted advertising is mentioned as an exemplary third-party service 26, other types of third-party services 26 may additionally or alternatively be provided. Other types of third-party services 26 that may be provided will be apparent to one of ordinary skill in the art upon reading this disclosure.

Before proceeding, it should be noted that while the system 10 of FIG. 1 illustrates an embodiment where the one or more profile servers 14 and the location server 16 are separate from the MAP server 12, the present disclosure is not limited thereto. In an alternative embodiment, the functionality of the one or more profile servers 14 and/or the location server 16 may be implemented within the MAP server 12.

FIG. 2 is a block diagram of the MAP server 12 of FIG. 1 according to one embodiment of the present disclosure. As illustrated, the MAP server 12 includes an application layer 40, a business logic layer 42, and a persistence layer 44. The application layer 40 includes a user web application 46, a mobile client/server protocol component 48, and one or more data Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) 50. The user web application 46 is preferably implemented in software and operates to provide a web interface for users, such as the subscriber 24, to access the MAP server 12 via a web browser. The mobile client/server protocol component 48 is preferably implemented in software and operates to provide an interface between the MAP server 12 and the MAP clients 30 hosted by the mobile devices 18. The data APIs 50 enable third-party services, such as the third-party service 26, to access the MAP server 12.

The business logic layer 42 includes a profile manager 52, a location manager 54, a history manager 56, a crowd analyzer 58, an aggregation engine 60, and a fragmented advertisement (“ad”) function 62 each of which is preferably implemented in software. The profile manager 52 generally operates to obtain the user profiles of the users 20 directly or indirectly from the one or more profile servers 14 and store the user profiles in the persistence layer 44. The location manager 54 operates to obtain the current locations of the users 20 including location updates. As discussed below, the current locations of the users 20 may be obtained directly from the mobile devices 18 and/or obtained from the location server 16.

The history manager 56 generally operates to maintain a historical record of anonymized user profile data by location. Note that while the user profile data stored in the historical record is preferably anonymized, it is not limited thereto. The crowd analyzer 58 operates to form crowds of users. In one embodiment, the crowd analyzer 58 utilizes a spatial crowd formation algorithm. However, the present disclosure is not limited thereto. In addition, the crowd analyzer 58 may further characterize crowds to reflect degree of fragmentation, best-case and worst-case degree of separation (DOS), and/or degree of bi-directionality. Still further, the crowd analyzer 58 may also operate to track crowds. The aggregation engine 60 generally operates to provide aggregate profile data in response to requests from the mobile devices 18, the subscriber device 22, and the third-party service 26. The aggregate profile data may be historical aggregate profile data for one or more POIs or one or more AOIs or aggregate profile data for crowd(s) currently at one or more POIs or within one or more AOIs. As discussed below in detail, the fragmented ad function 62 operates to deliver fragmented advertisements to groups of participants. Preferably, the groups of participants are groups of co-located users. More specifically, in the preferred embodiment described herein, the groups of participants are crowds of users. However, the present disclosure is not limited thereto.

For additional information regarding the operation of the profile manager 52, the location manager 54, the history manager 56, the crowd analyzer 58, and the aggregation engine 60, the interested reader is directed to U.S. patent application Ser. No. 12/645,532, entitled FORMING CROWDS AND PROVIDING ACCESS TO CROWD DATA IN A MOBILE ENVIRONMENT, which was filed Dec. 23, 2009; U.S. patent application Ser. No. 12/645,539, entitled ANONYMOUS CROWD TRACKING, which was filed Dec. 23, 2009; U.S. patent application Ser. No. 12/645,535, entitled MAINTAINING A HISTORICAL RECORD OF ANONYMIZED USER PROFILE DATA BY LOCATION FOR USERS IN A MOBILE ENVIRONMENT, which was filed Dec. 23, 2009; U.S. patent application Ser. No. 12/645,546, entitled CROWD FORMATION FOR MOBILE DEVICE USERS, which was filed Dec. 23, 2009; U.S. patent application Ser. No. 12/645,556, entitled SERVING A REQUEST FOR DATA FROM A HISTORICAL RECORD OF ANONYMIZED USER PROFILE DATA IN A MOBILE ENVIRONMENT, which was filed Dec. 23, 2009; U.S. patent application Ser. No. 12/645,560, entitled HANDLING CROWD REQUESTS FOR LARGE GEOGRAPHIC AREAS, which was filed Dec. 23, 2009; and U.S. patent application Ser. No. 12/645,544, entitled MODIFYING A USER\'S CONTRIBUTION TO AN AGGREGATE PROFILE BASED ON TIME BETWEEN LOCATION UPDATES AND EXTERNAL EVENTS, which was filed Dec. 23, 2009; all of which are hereby incorporated herein by reference in their entireties.

The persistence layer 44 includes an object mapping layer 63 and a datastore 64. The object mapping layer 63 is preferably implemented in software. The datastore 64 is preferably a relational database, which is implemented in a combination of hardware (i.e., physical data storage hardware) and software (i.e., relational database software). In this embodiment, the business logic layer 42 is implemented in an object-oriented programming language such as, for example, Java. As such, the object mapping layer 63 operates to map objects used in the business logic layer 42 to relational database entities stored in the datastore 64. Note that, in one embodiment, data is stored in the datastore 64 in a Resource Description Framework (RDF) compatible format.

In an alternative embodiment, rather than being a relational database, the datastore 64 may be implemented as an RDF datastore. More specifically, the RDF datastore may be compatible with RDF technology adopted by Semantic Web activities. Namely, the RDF datastore may use the Friend-Of-A-Friend (FOAF) vocabulary for describing people, their social networks, and their interests. In this embodiment, the MAP server 12 may be designed to accept raw FOAF files describing persons, their friends, and their interests. These FOAF files are currently output by some social networking services such as LiveJournal® and Facebook®. The MAP server 12 may then persist RDF descriptions of the users 20 as a proprietary extension of the FOAF vocabulary that includes additional properties desired for the system 10.

FIG. 3 illustrates the MAP client 30 of FIG. 1 in more detail according to one embodiment of the present disclosure. As illustrated, in this embodiment, the MAP client 30 includes a MAP access API 66, a MAP middleware component 68, and a mobile client/server protocol component 70. The MAP access API 66 is implemented in software and provides an interface by which the MAP client 30 and the third-party applications 34 are enabled to access the MAP client 30. The MAP middleware component 68 is implemented in software and performs the operations needed for the MAP client 30 to operate as an interface between the MAP application 32 and the third-party applications 34 at the mobile device 18 and the MAP server 12. The mobile client/server protocol component 70 enables communication between the MAP client 30 and the MAP server 12 via a defined protocol.

The present disclosure is primarily focused on the delivery of fragmented advertisements. However, before discussing the delivery of fragmented advertisements in detail, it is beneficial to discuss other features of the MAP server 12, namely, the operation of the MAP server 12 to obtain user profiles and location updates and to create and track crowds of users. As described below, the crowds of users are utilized by the fragmented ad function 62 to identify groups of participants to which to deliver fragmented advertisements.



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stats Patent Info
Application #
US 20120066067 A1
Publish Date
03/15/2012
Document #
12974289
File Date
12/21/2010
USPTO Class
705 1458
Other USPTO Classes
705 1449, 705 1466
International Class
06Q30/00
Drawings
26



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