Call it “The Bad Gift Filter.” Amazon has patented a system that could intercept the yet another sweater Aunt Janice has sent you and automatically return it and exchange it for something you actually want.
The system lets you create profiles for people in your life and then say if they give you a gift that meets a certain number of requirements, to automatically exchange it for another kind of gift. Like something on your Amazon wishlist. You might specify “no gifts with wool” or that any gift from a specific person should be by default converted into a gift certificate.
Under one version of the system, the gift giver is none the wiser that you pre-exchanged their gift before it ever arrived. Until, of course, they come over and ask to see you in that big beautiful sweater they sent you.
Here’s an image from the patent showing how the filtering system could work:
Amazon patents procedure to let recipients avoid undesirable gifts [Washington Post]
System and method for converting gifts [US Patent Office]