Patent published on April 25, 2024

Patent: New Technology Lets You Hide Secret Messages in Videos and Audios

Methods and Apparatus for Delivering Extended Payloads with Composite Watermarks: Patent Revolutionizes the World of Watermark Encoding

In an era where the creation of media is constantly on the rise, the size of identifiers needed to uniquely distinguish this content has become a challenge. Current watermarking technologies, such as Nielsen Commercial Code Watermarks (NWCC) or Critical Band Encoding Technology commercial codes (CBET CC), often fall short in supporting the large payload sizes required to handle lengthy media identifiers or other extensive data blocks. However, a recent patent from The Nielsen Company, titled "Methods and Apparatus for Delivering Extended Payloads with Composite Watermarks" (US20240137549A1), aims to change the game.

The core problem addressed by this patent is the limitation of watermark encoding technologies to handle larger payload sizes. Watermarks, which are used to hide information within video or audio files, have a maximum limit on the amount of data they can convey. With the exponential growth of media content, there is a need for increased payload sizes to accommodate identifiers and other significant data blocks.

The patent proposes a breakthrough solution that relies on composite watermarks, utilizing two different types of secret codes. These codes, when embedded into a video or audio file, hide two separate messages. The unique aspect of this invention lies in the special parts of the codes that dictate whether the messages should be combined or kept separate for later retrieval.

By introducing extended payloads, the patent expands the capacity and efficiency of watermark encoding. Larger payload sizes enable the conveyance of more data, such as unique media identifiers, through watermark technology. This development creates a more robust and flexible system for encoding and decoding hidden information within media files.

Imagine a world where advertisers can embed longer and more detailed codes within their commercials, allowing for precise tracking and identification of the content. Content creators can also benefit from this technology by embedding additional metadata or copyright information to protect their intellectual property.

For instance, in the future, viewers watching a popular TV show may witness a hidden code within the airing commercial. They can then utilize a decoding tool or app to uncover a special offer related to the commercial. This technology adds an interactive dimension, engaging users directly with the content they consume.

The Figures accompanying the patent provide a glimpse into the process of watermark encoding. They illustrate the environment in which this disclosure can be implemented, the watermark encoder, decoder, payload configurations, alignments, and the overall flow, among other components necessary for the successful deployment of this technology.

It is worth noting that as exciting as this patent may be, its appearance in the market is uncertain. However, if implemented, it has the potential to transform the way we interact with media, enhancing advertisement experiences and further securing creators' intellectual property.

In conclusion, The Nielsen Company's patent on "Methods and Apparatus for Delivering Extended Payloads with Composite Watermarks" presents a groundbreaking solution for the limitations of watermark encoding technology. By enabling larger payload sizes, this patent paves the way for more advanced and dynamic applications in the field of media identification and protection. While its practical adoption is uncertain, its impact could revolutionize the industry by empowering advertisers and content creators with an enhanced means of communication and engagement.

P.S. It is important to note that this publication highlights a patent and its innovative ideas but does not guarantee its appearance in the market. Patents often serve as a testament to the inventiveness and forward-thinking nature of companies and individuals, but additional processes are required to determine if and when the patented technology becomes commercially available.

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