Electronics & Computers

CrowdOptic to Receive Focus Awareness Patent

July 16, 2013

The patent will cover capabilities already part of a large, diverse, and growing range of apps for mobile and wearable technology to increase location and context awareness.


SAN FRANCISCO /PRNewswire/ -- CrowdOptic, a maker of crowd-powered mobile applications, announced it has received notification of its U.S. patent allowance for mobile focus awareness capabilities that are already part of a large, diverse and growing range of apps for mobile and wearable technology. The company also announced the availability of a set of developer tools, including SDK and Open API, that can be used to enhance new mobile and wearable technology apps with CrowdOptic's patent-allowed mobile focus awareness features.

Several initial partners have already built on the platform including L'Oreal Canada and The Location Based Marketing Association. These early pioneers have recognized the need for CrowdOptic's focus data to increase location and context awareness. CrowdOptic has patented the technology, which tracks where people are pointing their mobile wearable devices from moment to moment, and also tracks crowd heat, attention spikes, and provides focus-based metadata search.

Industry analysts have concluded that heightened context awareness, including focal awareness, will eventually become the baseline expectation for mobile apps users and smart glasses wearers. Forrester analyst Anthony Mullen, on his blog, stated that the future of marketing is (better) context, and that "smartphones and wearables are the 'Trojan Horse' for opening up real-time context" obtained through expanding mobile and wearable sensors.

"A user's physical location is an important, yet too blunt, instrument to convey true context," said CrowdOptic CEO Jon Fisher. "People in the same location may not have the same focus. Similarly, as wearable technologies improve their range, a wearer may be very far away from his actual focus."

Both push and pull marketing models will come to depend upon knowing the specific location where a user is focused in real time, as well as the ability to identify groups of people who share the same focus. Commented Fisher: "I don't want to be grouped socially with everyone who is standing on a platform in Grand Central Station at the same time I am. I want to be grouped with people who actually share my interests in the context of what we're all watching."

CrowdOptic's management team are specialists in contextual technology innovation. They include former members of the identity management team at Oracle, acquired through Oracle's acquisition of Bharosa in 2007. The CrowdOptic team includes co-inventors of five patents now held by Oracle, including the contextual authentication capability of Oracle's Adaptive Access Manager product. CrowdOptic's U.S. patent application for focal context in mobile received a notice of patent allowance on July 12, 2013.

About CrowdOptic
CrowdOptic uses real-time sensor data from electronic devices and its own patent-allowed CrowdOptic algorithms to identify and track where devices are aimed (focus) and to identify groups of people with the same focus. CrowdOptic can instantly filter mobile media and create new opportunities for eyewitness engagement. It is used around the world to power a wide range of apps that let users aim their phones to connect, report news, find friends, alternate broadcasts, cast a vote, and discover others who share their focus and interests. CrowdOptic technology, which includes sensor data smoothing, EXIF data mining, and focal analytics, is instantly deployable in a range of mobile applications and technology environments to enhance broadcasting, security, social media sharing, and advertising. CrowdOptic is a privately held, venture-backed company based in San Francisco.


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