Advertisements embedded in the text of your favorite book? It's enough to make a purist squirm.
But as Fast Company and others have noted, Amazon appears to be weighing the idea. The evidence comes in a pair of applications recently filed with the US Patent and Trademark Office, including one for "providing fixed computer-displayable content in response to a consumer request for content." (Translation from the geek: Amazon wants to patent a way to embed content – or, in this case, adverts – onto a website or mobile device such as a Kindle DX.)
The applications, titled "On-Demand Generating E-Book Content with Advertising," and "Incorporating Advertising in On-Demand Generated Content," both list Hanning Zhou, the director of Amazon's Print-on-Demand Group, as an inventor.
In May of this year, Cinthia Portugal, a spokeswoman for Amazon, told Bloomberg News that the Kindle DX would not initially carry ads. But the patent applications show that the company seems to be edging closer to some sort of in-book advertising program.
Here, for example, is a passage picked out from the files by the folks over at Slashdot: "For instance, if a restaurant is described on page 12, [then the advertising page], either on page 11 or page 13, may include advertisements about restaurants, wine, food, etc., which are related to restaurants and dining."