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Ford patents ads tech that could:

Ford patents ads tech that could:

What, you thought your car would keep you safe? It shouldn’t be surprising at all that a business would use a screen of any kind to show ads. Marketing is all around us: on our phones, iPads, e-readers, TVs, computers, and even at the gas pump. So why not when we’re driving?

Ford has applied for a patent on a new system that uses a car’s exterior cameras to detect and scan passing billboards. The data is then sent to the car’s interior display screens to make in-car versions of the ads for the driver or a passenger to enjoy (or disapprove of).

Gizmodo found the Ford patent last week and pointed out that the system lets more information be shown on the screen than on the original billboard ad, often in the form of a direct call-to-action like an invitation to go to an upcoming address or call a phone number.

But while stopping at a hot dog stand that says “no ketchup” sounds nice and getting a phone number to call to talk about the healing power of Jesus Christ sounds useful, wouldn’t it be a little dangerous for this patent’s technology to show that kind of information to someone driving at 100 km/h? Aren’t ads supposed to be a distraction? I mean, isn’t that what they’re all about?

In the end, though, this is just a patent, and Ford isn’t doing anything with it yet.

What do you think about ads in cars? If you got a digital coupon for Taco Bell at the next rest stop, would you be excited, or would you feel like your privacy had been invaded?

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