Adelphic, a Massachusetts based mobile ad technology start-up has recently been issued a patent for an innovative technology which, it claims, will allow advertisers to identify specific users without using cookies. The patent is for the method used, the system and the programs for user identification on their network. When implemented, it will allow advertisers to identify individuals or groups using devices including smartphones, tablets, PCs and other web enabled devices. In addition, it can track individuals across multiple devices, making it even more flexible than the standard cookie commonly used today.
The system will allow companies to develop “deep and persistent insights” into the behavior of consumers, according to Adelphic. Changfeng Wang, the CTO and co-founder of Adelphic, said in a statement, “Identifying users across devices and media is the foundation of data driven audience engagement. The advertising industry needs to go beyond cookies toward a mechanism that works well with existing technology and user privacy guidelines. Our technology is a step in this direction.”
As of this writing, there aren’t any specifics on how or when the technology covered by the patent will be put in place, or to what extent. It seems likely that if it is as effective as they hope, they will license the technology out to other advertising networks as well. The start-up was founded in 2010, and since then has raised $12 million in capital, including $10 million from Google Ventures last year. This seems to indicate that Google is interested in the technologies being developed by the company, and will likely want to implement them at some point.
What this would mean for advertisers, consumers and marketers is unclear. It is certainly something we will all want to keep a close eye on going forward. Share your thoughts on this in the comments below.