Comcast Hits Accelerator on T-Commcerce

Comcast has built a t-commerce solution that could help automobile manufacturers drive increased sales from subscribers viewing interactive TV commercials, according to a patent published on Tuesday.

The invention details how Comcast could target interactive advertising overlays based on a user’s profile and viewing history. “A service provider or any party may store information indicating that the highest level of interactivity should only be delivered to users who regularly interact with interactive feature,” Comcast states in the patent, titled, “Selective interactivity.”

Steve Ariantaj
Steve Ariantaj

Inventors named on the patent include a team of engineers from Comcast Silicon Valley Innovation Center. Comcast Innovation Labs Principal Engineer Steve Ariantaj is named as lead inventor on the patent. Former Comcast engineer Vilas Veeraghavan, also named as an inventor, is now QA integration lead at Netflix.

Abstract: A system may selectively deliver interactive portions of a piece of content, based for example on a recipient user’s historical tendency to use interactive portions of prior content. Multiple levels of interactivity may be defined for a given piece of content, such as an advertisement, and different users may receive different levels of interactivity based on how much they use interactive features. Some users may receive no interactive features at all, while others may receive the interactive features, and despite the fact that all of the users’ devices may be perfectly capable of processing the interactive features for the user. The omission from transmission may conserve bandwidth and transmission resources.

Patent

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Claims: 

1. A method comprising: monitoring, by one or more computing devices, a level of usage, by a user, of first interactive content that accompanies first content consumed by the user; determining, based at least on the level of usage of the first interactive content, a future level of interactivity; in response to a determination that second content has accompanying second interactive content, and based on the future level of interactivity, determining that the second interactive content should not be transmitted to a user device associated with the user; and transmitting, to the user device associated with the user, the second content without the second interactive content.

2. The method of claim 1, further comprising storing, for the second interactive content, information indicating one or more conditions to be met in order for the user to receive the second interactive content, wherein the determining that the second interactive content should not be transmitted is further based on the stored information.

3. The method of claim 2, wherein one of the one or more conditions indicates a frequency with which the user historically accesses interactive content.

4. The method of claim 2, wherein one of the one or more conditions indicates a frequency with which the user historically uses an interface feature with interactive content.

5. A method comprising: determining, by one or more computing devices, a plurality of interactive features associated with video content; delivering the video content to a plurality of user devices; selectively delivering one or more of the plurality of interactive features to particular ones of the plurality of user devices based on respective probabilities of corresponding users using interactive features associated with the video content; and storing, for each of the plurality of interactive features, information indicating one or more conditions to be met in order for a user not to receive any of the plurality of interactive features, wherein one of the one or more conditions indicates a frequency with which the user uses an identified interface option with interactive content.

6. The method of claim 5, further comprising: selecting interactive features for a first user based on a frequency with which the first user has previously engaged in interactive features.

7. The method of claim 6, further comprising: determining one or more user interface options for a first one of the interactive features; and determining a frequency with which the first user has previously engaged in interactive features using the determined one or more user interface options.

8. The method of claim 6, further comprising: determining one or more user consumption devices for the first user; and determining a frequency with which the first user has previously engaged in interactive features using the determined one or more user consumption devices.

9. The method of claim 5, wherein one of the one or more conditions determines a frequency with which the user accesses interactive content.

10. The method of claim 5, further comprising: determining that two sequential pieces of content each have interactive options, and that a first user is engaged with an interactive option for a first one of the sequential pieces of content; and in response to the determining, determining that interactive features of a second one of the sequential pieces of content should not be transmitted to the first user.

11. The method of claim 1, further comprising: determining that the second interactive content that accompanies the second content involves use of a second device different from a first device used by the user to consume the second content, and performing the transmitting after verifying that the second device is present with the first device.

12. The method of claim 2, wherein a first one of the one or more conditions indicates a threshold of the user’s historical usage of interactive options; and wherein a second one of the one or more conditions indicates how the first one of the one or more conditions may be varied based on a current state of a data delivery network.

13. The method of claim 5, further comprising: determining that a first one of the interactive features involves use of a second device different from a first device used by the user to consume the video content, and performing the selective delivery after verifying, for respective users, that a second device of each respective user is present with a first device of each respective user.

14. The method of claim 5, further comprising determining the one or more conditions for delivery of interactive features, wherein the conditions comprise conditions specifying different user usage probability thresholds, and conditions specifying different states of a data delivery network.

15. A method comprising: determining, by a computing device, that a first sequential piece of content and a second sequential piece of content, each having at least one respective interactive portion configured for interactive display, are to be delivered to a consumption device; delivering, to the consumption device, the first sequential piece of content and the respective at least one interactive portion; and in response to a determination that the consumption device is currently engaged with the respective at least one interactive portion of the first sequential piece of content, delivering the second sequential piece of content to the consumption device without the respective at least one interactive portion of the second sequential piece of content.

16. The method of claim 15, further comprising: determining whether to include an additional at least one interactive portion with delivery of a third piece of content based on conditions indicating user usage probability thresholds.

17. The method of claim 15, further comprising: determining whether to include an additional at least one interactive portion with delivery of a third piece of content based on conditions specifying different interactive portions for different data delivery network states.