Categorized | Colorado News, National News, News

Advertising May Be Directed to You by Internet-Connected Devices in Your Home

Kinsa, a San Francisco company that has raised about $29 million from venture capitalists since it was founded in 2012, says its internet-connected thermometers are in more than 500,000 American households. It has promoted the usefulness of its “illness data,” which it says is aggregated and contains no identifying personal information before being passed along to other companies.

This flu season, Clorox paid to license information from Kinsa . The thermometers sync up with a smartphone app that allows consumers to track their fevers and symptoms, making it especially attractive to parents of young children.

The data showed Clorox which ZIP codes around the country had increases in fevers. The company then directed more ads to those areas, assuming that households there may be in the market for products like its disinfecting wipes. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends disinfecting surfaces to help prevent the flu or its spread.

It is unique, Kinsa says, because it comes straight from someone’s household in real time. People don’t have to visit a doctor, search their symptoms on Google or post to Facebook about their fever for the company to know where a spike might be occurring.

The so-called internet of things is becoming enmeshed in many households, bringing with it a new level of convenience along with growing concerns about privacy.

Amazon has submitted a patent application, outlining how the company could recommend chicken soup or cough drops to people who use its Echo device if it detects symptoms like coughing and sniffling when they speak to it. It could even suggest a visit to the movies after discerning boredom. Other patents submitted by the company have focused on how it could suggest products to people based on keywords in their conversations.

Read about the coming new world of advertising in TheNew York Times.

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