Patent published on August 10, 2023

TiVo Parental Controls: Smart Tool That Uses Social Media Chatter to Determine What's Safe for Your Child to Watch

In an era often consumed by social media chatter, the newly patented technology by Rovi Guides, known under the patent number US20230254538A1, aims to use this very chatter to filter what your child may see. Pitched for pair up with their product, TiVo Parental Controls, this savvy system offers a peace of mind for the parents in our digital age.

Anyone who grew up in the age of television remotes knows the problem: parents at a loss, unsure if the content on their screens would be suitable for their children. This digital babysitter, however, considers not only the traditional content ratings but also the conversations about a show or movie happening 'in the wild' of social media. It might be a horror movie drawing frantic discussions or an animation eliciting unexpectedly adult debates – through an understanding of these social threads, the program offers more intuitive control of what content reaches the child.

Our digital age media guidance no longer solely depends on static ratings. Social media reactions are as telling, if not more, of a media content's effect on viewers of different maturity levels. For example, as robust as they might be, the traditional ratings might label a scary movie as appropriate for a 13-year old, but the program, picking up on the frightful exclaims on social media, could argue otherwise.

This tool, therefore, suggests a fresh and thoughtful blend of traditional ratings and digital age wisdom. The ‘Figures’ provided in the patent application depict various user interface examples where the user, usually a parent, is notified of the content restriction suggestions, applies the restrictions, and monitors the child's media guidance.

With all that said, bear in mind that this is presently just a patent. As thoughtfully laid out and promising as it sounds, there is no surety that this smart tool will make it onto the shelves in the near future. However, it is a testament to where our digital age is steering – amalgamating traditional understanding with digital age tendencies to offer more comprehensive and personalized solutions. Whether parental controls or beyond, the trend of using social media chatter to spot trends, gauge reactions and make suggestions is a field ripe for further exploration and utilization.

Explore more