EchoStar: How Subliminal Messages Could Modify Viewer Behavior

A technology firm with ties to Dish Network has won a U.S. patent for a system that could place subliminal messages in video programming aimed at modifying the behavior of the viewer. 

The “Subliminal Frame Insertion” invention could be used to discourage viewers from smoking cigarettes or dissuade children from watching violent programming, according to the patent that was issued to a subsidiary of EchoStar, Dish Network’s core technology supplier.

“The user may set the subliminal frame insertion setting to insert distasteful images in content that has a rating of graphic violence. When the user’s children view content that includes the distasteful images, the user’s children may subliminally associate emotions of disgust with graphic violence and may learn to avoid content including such graphic violence,” EchoStar states in the patent that was published on Tuesday. 

Peter Alekseyevich is named as inventor on the patent that is assigned to EchoStar Ukraine LLC.

EchoStar spokesman Robert Leake and Dish Network spokesman John Hall didn’t respond to requests for comment about the subliminal frame insertion invention on Tuesday.

Abstract: Insertion of subliminal frames in content is performed at a content receiver. The content receiver may receive content, analyze a setting, and modify the received content based on the analyzed setting. The content receiver may modify the received content by periodically inserting subliminal frames in the received content as specified by the setting. In some implementations, the content may include video content and the subliminal frames may be one or more images. The inserted subliminal frames may be subliminally perceptible but consciously imperceptible by a human viewer of the content when the content is played. As such, viewing of the content that includes the inserted subliminal frames may result in subliminal learning by a human viewer. In various implementations, one or more conditions included in the analyzed setting may specify that certain subliminal frames are to be inserted when the content has certain characteristics, such as a rating or description.

Patent

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Claims:

1. A method for subliminal frame insertion in a content receiver including a processor and at least one memory communicatively connected to the at least one processor, the method comprising: receiving content by the content receiver; analyzing, utilizing the content receiver, a subliminal frame insertion setting; and modifying the content, utilizing the content receiver, by periodically inserting at least one subliminal frame based on the subliminal frame insertion setting, the inserted at least one subliminal frame being subliminally perceptible but consciously imperceptible to a human viewer when the modified content is played.

2. The method of claim 1, further comprising receiving the at least one subliminal frame based on input from a user.

3. The method of claim 1, wherein the content comprises at least video content.

4. The method of claim 1, wherein the inserting the at least one subliminal frame replaces at least one frame of the content.

5. The method of claim 4, wherein the inserting the at least one subliminal frame replaces at least one frame of each portion of the content that corresponds to an interval of time with the at least one subliminal frame.

6. The method of claim 1, wherein the subliminal frame insertion setting is set based on input received from a user.

7. The method of claim 1, wherein the subliminal frame insertion setting specifies at least one of a period for periodically inserting the at least one subliminal frame, a location of the at least one subliminal frame to insert, or at least one condition for insertion of the at least one subliminal frame.

8. The method of claim 1, wherein the at least one subliminal frame that is inserted is selected based on at least one characteristic of the content.

9. The method of claim 8, wherein the at least one characteristic of the content comprises at least one of a rating of the content or a description of the content.

10. The method of claim 8, wherein the at least one characteristic of the content is included in electronic programming guide information for the content.

11. The method of claim 1, wherein the content receiver performs said operation of modifying the content upon receiving the content.

12. The method of claim 1, wherein the content receiver stores the content in at least one non-transitory storage medium upon receiving the content and wherein the content receiver performs said operation of modifying the content by modifying the stored content.

13. The method of claim 1, further comprising outputting the modified content from the content receiver to at least one presentation device.

14. The method of claim 13, wherein the content receiver performs said operation of modifying the content when providing the modified content.

15. A system for subliminal frame insertion, comprising: an input component operable to receive content for a content receiver; at least one non-transitory storage medium configured to store a subliminal frame insertion setting for the content receiver and at least one subliminal frame; and at least one processing unit communicatively connected to the input and storage medium and configured to analyze the subliminal frame insertion setting and modify the content by periodically inserting the at least one subliminal frame in the content based on the subliminal frame insertion setting, the at least one subliminal frame that is inserted being subliminally perceptible but consciously imperceptible to a human viewer when the modified content is played.

16. The system of claim 15, further comprising at least one user input device communicatively coupled to the at least one input, wherein at least one of the at least one subliminal frame stored in the at least one non-transitory storage medium was received from a user via the at least one user input device or the subliminal frame insertion setting was set by the at least one processing unit based on input received from the user via the at least one user input device.

17. The system of claim 15, wherein the at least one processing unit is configured to periodically insert the at least one subliminal frame by replacing at least one frame of each portion of the content that corresponds to an interval of time with the at least one subliminal frame.

18. The system of claim 15, wherein the subliminal frame insertion setting specifies at least one of a period for periodically inserting the at least one subliminal frame, a location of the at least one subliminal frame to insert, or at least one condition for insertion of the at least one subliminal frame is inserted.

19. The system of claim 15, wherein the at least one processing unit is configured select the at least one subliminal frame for insertion based on at least one characteristic of the content.

20. A non-transitory computer-readable storage medium having computer-executable instructions stored thereon that, when executed by by at least one processor to: receive video content; analyze a subliminal frame insertion setting of a content receiver; modify the video content by periodically inserting at least one subliminal image frame based on the subliminal frame insertion setting; and output the modified video content to at least one presentation device, the at least one subliminal image frame being subliminally perceptible but consciously imperceptible to a human viewer when the modified video content is played.

21. The non-transitory computer-readable storage medium of claim 20, wherein the inserting the at least one subliminal frame replaces at least one frame of the received content.

22. The non-transitory computer-readable storage medium of claim 21, wherein the inserting the at least one subliminal frame replaces, with the at least one subliminal frame, at least one frame of each portion of the received content that corresponds to an interval of time.

23. A content receiver comprising: at least on processor; and at least one memory communicatively coupled to the at least one processor, the memory having computer executable instructions stored thereon that, when executed by the at least one processor cause the at least one processor to cause the content receiver to: receive content; and modify the content, by periodically replacing at least one frame of the received content with at least one subliminal frame.

24. The content receiver of claim 21, wherein the replacing at least one frame of the received content includes periodically replacing at least one frame of the received content with at least one subliminal frame based on a subliminal frame insertion setting.

25. The content receiver of claim 24, wherein the replacing at least one frame of the received content includes periodically replacing at least one frame of the received content with at least one subliminal frame based on a subliminal frame insertion setting in a manner such that the inserted at least one subliminal frame is subliminally perceptible but consciously imperceptible to a human viewer when the modified content is played.