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Facebook eyes making local connections with mesh networks

Martyn Williams | Aug. 19, 2013
A patent application describes a system that would allow for hyper-local advertising and networking.

Businesses are continually trying to refine their advertising so it only reaches consumers that might become customers. That's especially true of local businesses, which often have limited advertising budgets.

That's where the mesh networking trumps an Internet connection, according to the patent application.

"Finally, enabling communications based at least in part on network proximity may also assist businesses in identifying potential customers. In one example, the owner of a pizzeria may only want to advertise a '7:30 special' to the customers who are close-by to the pizzeria to avoid advertising to customers who are too far away to take advantage of the '7:30 special.' In another example, a department store with a large number of diverse products may tailor its promotional advertisements to the customers shopping within specific store sections. Hence, customers shopping in a 'Women's Shoes' section may receive advertisements that are different from advertisements received by customers shopping in a 'Men's Suits' section."

The system wouldn't be totally focused on advertising -- and that might be key if users were ever to sign on should such a system launch. The interest list would also enable users to find others nearby that shared similar interests and hobbies or act as a filter for discovering existing friends that are in the area.

Details are included in U.S. patent application 20130208714 that was published on Thursday. It was filed with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office on March 14 this year.

Patent applications provide insight into the types of projects that companies are working on. They are typically filed early on in the development process and the appearance of a patent application doesn't necessarily mean a future commercial product.



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