Sony wants a future of interactive advertising, patents transformation of ads into games

Sony patent showing viewer yelling "McDonald's!" at a television screen

Recent news about Sony may be revolving around its next generation of gaming consoles, specifically a sequel to the PS3, but it seems the electronics company is pursuing other avenues as well. If a recent patent granted to Sony is any indication, the company is planning to overhaul the traditional method of viewing television commercials by making the whole process a lot more interactive. It may not be the future we want to see (flying cars and all that), but modernizing advertising is a necessary evil.

The patent includes a set of photos showing off the various ways Sony dreamt up to make advertising more fun. The different processes make good use of Sony’s product line-up with some using the PlayStation Move, the PS Eye, and the DualShock controllers. One shows pizza being ordered directly from an ad by selecting a large “Buy” button with a PlayStation Move controller. Another has a viewer jumping up and yelling “McDonald’s!” at their television screen to continue watching whatever show had been playing previously, as you can see above. And yet another visualizes consumers choosing between an action-oriented or romantic commercial to pass the time between actual television. Anything can change between now and when the patent actually comes to fruition (if it makes it that far), but it will be interesting to see if Sony’s proposed changes to the formula make advertising less or more annoying than before.

In any case, now may be a good time to consider letting go of cable and turning to the internet for your television fix. Advertising may be a necessary evil for networks, but alternatives like Netflix or iTunes can take the pain out of commercial breaks. It’s an undeniably attractive solution as well, considering the alternative is vocalizing your knowledge of brands before you can get back to the content you really want to enjoy.