Microsoft Awarded Patent for Foot Interface

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.

  • IzzyCraft
    Is that a foot in ass interface? Because if not i can provide that to the patent office.
  • husker
    Wow, I thought of this years ago, as I bet many of you did.
  • BA Barracus
    "possibly putting pedal peripheral manufacturers out of business."

    not likely. you want feed back. tension on the clutch, brake etc..
  • applegetsmelaid
    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!
  • dogman_1234
  • malikxaxu
    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.
  • Scotteq

    Devious Plan to satisfy Bill Gatez's Upskirt Fetish!!
  • RoadKillGrill
    Based on this utterly vague patent this device is infringing on their patent.
    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
  • RoadKillGrill

    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.
  • GoneFishing36
    I'm not sure, will this even pass the Bilski test???