Looks like nothing is safe from becoming an advertisement these days. A newly surfaced Microsoft patent application proposes to create ads out of human interactive proofs, also known as CAPTCHAs, those lines of fuzzy or distorted text or images used by websites to confirm that submissions are coming from real human beings, not automated online bots.
Microsoft’s idea, as depicted in the accompanying diagram, is to present users with a product image, slogan, or some other form of advertisement — then require them to type in the name of the product or related text to complete the human proof.
Microsoft says in its patent filing that the approach creates “an effective way for advertisers to deliver their message to a captive audience. Unlike so much web-based advertising that accompanies popular web portals such as search and news sites that users can easily ignore, here the user must actively engage in reading and understanding the content in the advertisement in the HIP (human interactive proof) challenge in order to identify the solution to the challenge.”
Photo by USPTO.