Amazon Parental Control System Relies On Voice, Facial, Body Scans

An Amazon subsidiary won a U.S. patent for an invention that would prompt a TV to display kid-friendly programming if it detects a child entering a room where viewers are watching adult programming.

In addition to relying on facial, body or voice scans, the invention from Amazon subsidiary Audible Inc. may be able to spot a kid attempting to watch R-rated programming if he makes the mistake of carrying a mobile device that could identify him through use of Bluetooth or radio frequency identification (RFID) technology.

Goldstein
Goldstein

Former Audible head of mobile Web products Douglas Goldstein is named as lead inventor on the patent, titled, “Identifying a device associated with a person who does not satisfy a threshold age.”

Goldstein is now director of corporate strategy at Cox Communications sister company Cox Automotive. Audible originally filed for the patent, which was published on Tuesday, in December 2012.

Abstract: A system is provided that identifies a device associated with a person who does not satisfy a threshold age. The system scans the digital media content of a content data store associated with the device and estimates an age threshold value of the files of the digital media content. Based on the estimated age threshold value of the files, the system determines that the device is used by a person who does not satisfy a threshold age and applies one or more content rules to a presentation of the digital media content. The content rules cause an alteration of the presentation of the digital media content.

Patent

Claims: 

1. A computer-implemented method, comprising: under control of one or more computing devices configured with specific computer-executable instructions, scanning a plurality of content items stored in a content data store of a media presentation device; determining age categorization of each of the plurality of content items based at least on an age-related rating within metadata of each of the plurality of content items, wherein the age categorization of each of the plurality of content items corresponds to at least one of a first age categorization or a second age categorization; identifying a first portion, of the plurality of content items, that is associated with the first age categorization; identifying a second portion, of the plurality of content items, that is associated with the second age categorization; determining that a ratio, representing a number of content items within the first portion in comparison to a number of content items within the second portion, satisfies a threshold value; assigning the first age categorization as an estimated user age for the media presentation device; and applying one or more content rules associated with the first age categorization to a presentation of a content item of the plurality of content items on the media presentation device, wherein the one or more rules cause alteration of the presentation of the content item.

2. A computer-implemented method, comprising: under control of one or more computing devices configured with specific computer-executable instructions, scanning a plurality of items of digital media content stored in one or more content data stores associated with a media presentation device; determining an age categorization of each of the plurality of items, wherein the age categorization of each of the plurality of content items corresponds to at least one of a first age categorization or a second age categorization; identifying a first portion of the plurality of items associated with the first age categorization and a second portion of the plurality of items associated with the second age categorization; determining that a ratio, representing a number of items within the first portion in comparison to a number of items within the second portion, satisfies a threshold value; assigning the first age categorization as an estimated user age for the media presentation device and applying one or more content rules associated with the first age categorization to a presentation of an item of the plurality of items of digital media content on the media presentation device, wherein the one or more rules cause alteration of the presentation of the item.

3. The computer-implemented method of claim 2, wherein the age categorization of at least one item of the plurality of items is determined from a genre of the at least one item.

4. The computer-implemented method of claim 2, wherein the age categorization of at least one item of the plurality of items is determined from words within the at least one item.

5. The computer-implemented method of claim 2, wherein the age categorization of at least one item of the plurality of items is determined from a content rating of the at least one item.

6. The computer-implemented method of claim 2, wherein assigning the first age categorization as the estimated user age for the media presentation device further comprises: determining that the first portion of the plurality of items that are associated with the first age categorization has been accessed more frequently than the second portion of the plurality of items that are associated with the second age categorization; and wherein assigning the first age categorization as the estimated user age for the media presentation device is in response to said determining.

7. The computer-implemented method of claim 2, wherein assigning the first age categorization as the estimated user age for the media presentation device further comprises: determining that the first portion of the plurality of items that are associated with the first age categorization has been accessed more recently than the second portion of the plurality of items that are associated with the second age categorization; and wherein assigning the first age categorization as the estimated user age for the media presentation device is in response to said determining.

8. The computer-implemented method of claim 2, wherein alteration of the presentation of the item comprises at least one of: issuance of an indication that a person associated with the first age categorization is present; skipping one or more portions of the item that are considered inappropriate for the person associated with the first age categorization; distorting presentation of the one more portions of the item that are considered inappropriate for the person associated with the first age categorization; muting aural presentation of one or more portions of the item that are considered inappropriate for the person associated with the first age categorization; modifying visual presentation of one or more portions of the item that are considered inappropriate for the person associated with the first age categorization; and replacing, with alternate content, one or more portions of the item that are considered inappropriate for the person associated with the first age categorization.

9. A system comprising: one or more content data stores configured to store a plurality of items of digital media content associated with a user; and a computing device in communication with the one or more data stores, the computing device including a processor and a memory and configured to: determine an age categorization each of the plurality of items, wherein the age categorization of each of the plurality of content items corresponds to at least one of a first age categorization or a second age categorization; identify a first portion of the plurality of items associated with the first age categorization and a second portion of the plurality of items associated with the second age categorization; determine that a ratio, representing a number of items within the first portion in comparison to a number of items within the second portion, satisfies a threshold value; and apply one or more content rules associated with the first age categorization to a presentation of an item of the plurality of items of digital media content, wherein the one or more rules cause alteration of the presentation of the item.

10. The system of claim 9, wherein the age categorization of at least one item of the plurality of items is determined from a genre of the at least one item.

11. The system of claim 9, wherein the age categorization of at least one item of the plurality of items determined from words within the at least one item.

12. The system of claim 9, wherein age categorization of at least one item of the plurality of items is determined from a content rating of the at least one item.

13. The system of claim 9, wherein the computing device is further configured to determine that an access frequency associated with the first portion satisfies a threshold value.

14. The system of claim 9, wherein the computing device is further configured to determine that at least one item from the first portion of the plurality of items was recently accessed by a user of the computing device.

15. The system of claim 9, wherein alteration of the presentation of the item comprises at least one of: issuance of an indication that a person associated with the first age categorization is present; skipping one or more portions of the item that are considered inappropriate for the person associated with the first age categorization; distorting presentation of the one more portions of the item that are considered inappropriate for the person associated with the first age categorization; muting aural presentation of one or more portions of the item that are considered inappropriate for the person associated with the first age categorization; modifying visual presentation of one or more portions of the item that are considered inappropriate for the person associated with the first age categorization; and replacing, with alternate content, one or more portions of the item that are considered inappropriate for the person associated with the first age categorization.

16. A computer-readable, non-transitory storage medium having one or more computer-executable modules, the one or more computer-executable modules comprising: a first module that, when executed by a computing system in communication with one or more content data stores comprising a plurality of items of digital media content causes the computing system to: determine an age categorization each of the plurality of items, wherein the age categorization of each of the plurality of content items corresponds to at least one of a first age categorization or a second age categorization; identify a first portion of the plurality of items associated with the first age categorization and the second portion of the plurality of items associated with a second age categorization; determine that a ratio, representing a number of items within the first portion in comparison to a number of items within the second portion, satisfies a threshold value; and apply one or more content rules associated with the first age categorization to a presentation of an item of the plurality of items of digital media content on the media presentation device, wherein the one or more rules cause alteration of the presentation of the item.

17. The computer-readable, non-transitory storage medium of claim 16, wherein the age categorization of at least one item of the plurality of items is determined from at least one of genre associated with the at least one item, words within the at least one item, and a content rating of the at least one item.

18. The computer-readable, non-transitory storage medium of claim 16, wherein the first module further causes the computing system to at least one of: determine that an access frequency associated with the first portion satisfies a threshold value; and determine that at least one item from the first portion of the plurality of items was recently accessed by a user of the computing device.

19. The computer-readable, non-transitory storage medium of claim 16, wherein alteration of the presentation of the item comprises at least one of: issuance of an indication that a person associated with the first age categorization is present; skipping one or more portions of the item that are considered inappropriate for the person associated with the first age categorization; distorting presentation of the one more portions of the item that are considered inappropriate for the person associated with the first age categorization; muting aural presentation of one or more portions of the item that are considered inappropriate for the person associated with the first age categorization; modifying visual presentation of one or more portions of item that are considered inappropriate for the person associated with the first age categorization; and replacing, with alternate content, one or more portions of the item that are considered inappropriate for the person associated with the first age categorization.