Verizon has filed a patent for targeting ads that collect information from infrared cameras and microphones that can detect the amount of people and types of conversations happening in customers’ living rooms.

The set-top box technology is not the first of its kind – Comcast patented similar monitoring technology in 2008 that recommended content to users based on people it recognized in the room. Google TV also proposed a patent that would use video and audio recorders to figure out exactly how many people in a room were watching its broadcast.

Verizon filed for the application in May 2011, but the report was published last week due to laws stating that all patent applications be published after 18 months.

FierceCable first publicized the Verizon patent that gives examples of the DVR’s acute sensitivity in customers’ living rooms: argument sounds prompt ads for marriage counseling, and sounds of “cuddling” prompt ads for contraceptives.

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