Research In Motion (RIM) has filed a new patent that will possibly pave the way for them to incorporate advertising in messages sent by Blackberry users.
The patent submission, titled: “System And Method For Incorporating Multimedia Content Into A Message Handled By A Mobile Device” states that the technology would examine content on a users device, match keywords and predetermined criteria before serving relevant advertisements.
The abstract from the patent reads:
“Multimedia content can be incorporated into a message handled by a mobile device with minimum invasiveness by utilizing linking mechanisms that are visually identifiable with certain content and can reveal the multimedia content, e.g. an advertisement, upon selection. This may be done by examining content in the message handled by a mobile device and matching portions of the message with predetermined criteria such as keywords or phrases. Upon finding matches, corresponding multimedia content is associated with a respective portion of the message content and access to the multimedia content is enabled through selection of a linking mechanism that is visually identifiable with the respective portion of the message. The message is modified to include such linking mechanisms such that upon viewing the modified message, a user may reveal the multimedia content by selecting the linking mechanism.“
There are no reports that the patent will ever see the light of day, companies like RIM submit hundreds of patents every year.
It does beg the question of how RIM would utilise this technology and how it would effect new and existing customers. RIM may decide to offer cut price devices that are subsidised by paid advertising, allowing existing owners to remain free from email screening.
The implementation of keyword advertising is purely theoretical but if the patent is approved and the technology materializes, you may see a shift of users jumping across to open source platforms like Symbian or Android.