Read the Full Patent Application Here: appft1.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser
They're not the first but Verizon is the latest company to file for a patent on a DVR that will include a camera and microphone to monitor your living room, allowing for more targeted commercials.
Microsoft and Comcast have also filed for similar patents on devices perform the same function in different ways. They have been met with skepticism due to potential privacy issues.
Verizon's new set top box is a different than those ideas previously introduced. The idea is to see if a couple is snuggling or if there is a pet in the room to send specific ads. A married couple arguing about finances would see different ads than two roommates talking about the need for a new kitchen table.