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Microsoft Awarded Patent for Foot Interface

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 20 comments

Microsoft has patented "Foot-based interface for interacting with a computer."

This week Microsoft finally won a patent on a foot-based user interface after waiting nearly five years. Called "Foot-based interface for interacting with a computer," the patent describes a user moving his/her feet and stepping on the floor to execute various commands including scrolling down the screen, deleting email and more.

"In addition to causing health problems, the traditional keyboard and mouse interface can be simply inconvenient in certain situations as well," claims the patent. "In one instance, a mother with a baby in her arms is unable to easily perform simple tasks, such as checking email, on a computer. In another instance, interactive advertisement from businesses lack an effective interface that enables easy interaction with shoppers that carry bags in their hands."

The patent calls for four components: the user, an electromagnetic wave sensor, a display and a PC. It specifically states that the device can be tuned to detect electromagnetic waves within the visible spectrum, the radio spectrum, the infrared spectrum, X-ray spectrum, ultraviolet spectrum, and gamma ray spectrum.

Given that Microsoft Kinect already has an infrared camera built-in, the company may already be set to implement its new patent. Back in June, documents leaked out of Redmond, Wash. showed Kinect-like features planned for Windows 8 including facial recognition for login on and off accounts. And thanks to the efforts of AlexP and Hector Martin, we already know that it's possible to use Microsoft Kinect within the Windows environment.

With that said, could motion-detected foot control arrive soon? In a seated position, the camera could be mounted on the floor to detect foot commands while the hands continue to type or perform other functions with the mouse. If anything, the patent would be the ideal tool for racing games for the PC, possibly putting pedal peripheral manufacturers out of business.

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Top Comments
  • 13 Hide
    IzzyCraft , November 12, 2010 6:58 PM
    Is that a foot in ass interface? Because if not i can provide that to the patent office.
  • 12 Hide
    BA Barracus , November 12, 2010 7:05 PM
    "possibly putting pedal peripheral manufacturers out of business."

    not likely. you want feed back. tension on the clutch, brake etc..
Other Comments
  • 13 Hide
    IzzyCraft , November 12, 2010 6:58 PM
    Is that a foot in ass interface? Because if not i can provide that to the patent office.
  • 0 Hide
    husker , November 12, 2010 7:02 PM
    Wow, I thought of this years ago, as I bet many of you did.
  • 12 Hide
    BA Barracus , November 12, 2010 7:05 PM
    "possibly putting pedal peripheral manufacturers out of business."

    not likely. you want feed back. tension on the clutch, brake etc..
  • 2 Hide
    applegetsmelaid , November 12, 2010 7:06 PM
    WOW! I've heard mythical stories at the tech bench about the old lady who called in to say that her foot pedal wasn't working and it turned out to be her mouse... looks like she will be happy to hear about this!
  • 2 Hide
    dogman_1234 , November 12, 2010 7:06 PM
    WTFH!
  • -1 Hide
    malikxaxu , November 12, 2010 7:37 PM
    huskerWow, I thought of this years ago, as I bet many of you did.


    Too bad you did not reduce it to practice. Simple abstract idea is not enough to obtain a patent in the U.S., you also have to be able to show reduction to practice in order to show invention. Once you do, you can then file for a patent.
  • -2 Hide
    Scotteq , November 12, 2010 7:47 PM
    OMG!!


    Devious Plan to satisfy Bill Gatez's Upskirt Fetish!!
  • 3 Hide
    RoadKillGrill , November 12, 2010 8:35 PM
    Based on this utterly vague patent this device is infringing on their patent.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j_32vEhOGz4
    Yes its later than their patent was summited on being uploaded to youtube but I get the idea that this was developed earlier than this
    more infringing ppl
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SWcVk7ekNdI
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i_3MQnDsZzU
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nPoL3J1LVNU
  • 4 Hide
    RoadKillGrill , November 12, 2010 8:35 PM
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qbgNXV_Ni-Q

    Keep looking, I'm sure with a little more searching a demo of this can be found before this patent was made that fully implements what they claim.

    US patent system is so broken, they don't even need a working model of the patent its utterly an idea with a lengthy amount of text stating sweet nothings.
  • 0 Hide
    GoneFishing36 , November 12, 2010 9:01 PM
    I'm not sure, will this even pass the Bilski test???
  • 2 Hide
    Camikazi , November 12, 2010 9:35 PM
    malikxaxuToo bad you did not reduce it to practice. Simple abstract idea is not enough to obtain a patent in the U.S., you also have to be able to show reduction to practice in order to show invention. Once you do, you can then file for a patent.

    Some of the recent patents some companies have gotten approved say you are wrong about abstract ideas not being enough :) 
  • 1 Hide
    Khimera2000 , November 12, 2010 9:49 PM
    so does that mean the holo deck of the future will have a windows logo??? :( 
  • 1 Hide
    1haplo , November 12, 2010 10:38 PM
    I love the stick drawing.... I guess you can kick your computer into gear.... Now wee will see posts "Every time I kick my computer I get a BSOD" or "When my girlfriend kicked my computer she deleted my file"

    Just what we need stinky feet computing.

  • 0 Hide
    toastninja17 , November 13, 2010 3:09 AM
    Uhhhhh ok...
  • 1 Hide
    eddieroolz , November 13, 2010 3:27 AM
    DDR you way to an e-mail!
  • 0 Hide
    dEAne , November 13, 2010 4:30 AM
    Oh then if I got a similar idea they will sue me like motorola.
  • 0 Hide
    thechief73 , November 13, 2010 4:47 AM
    Another case of trying to fix interface problems that do not exist. All the the solutions they mention can be solved by already refined voice command tech.

    I think I am going to start making blind and vague patents for usless stuff and maybe one day I'll get rich off it too.
  • 0 Hide
    cookoy , November 13, 2010 7:06 AM
    why don't you just perfect voice activated commands instead of asking users to use their feet.
  • 0 Hide
    daggs , November 13, 2010 7:10 AM
    where does the limit between walking and movement goes?
    at this rate, we might get sued for simply walking in our home when that thing is on....
  • 0 Hide
    crisisavatar , November 16, 2010 8:05 AM
    Another stupid patent granted, well done system, well done.