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Microsoft Patents Virtual Handshakes, Hugs

samzenpus posted about a year ago | from the metal-arms dept.

Microsoft 87

theodp writes "'It can be tough to stay connected over long distances,' writes GeekWire's Todd Bishop. 'Yes, there's phone calls, texting, Facebook, Twitter, IM, video chatting and everything else. But what if you could give virtual hugs to each other using battery-powered, Internet-enabled pillows?' That — and more — is covered by Microsoft's newly-awarded patent on Force-Feedback Within Telepresence, the idea of using interactive, connected devices to bring physical interactions to long-distance communications. Readers of Ted Nelson's 1975 Computer Lib/Dream Machines can only imagine the interesting possibilities for Skype!"

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87 comments

My patent (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42381961)

I should patent virtual fuck-offs. FP.

prior art (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42381977)

There was a joke a while back about physically punching people through the computer screen, and today we have vibrators that work exactly like this (and vibrating underwear). Wouldn't that be prior art and an example of longdistance physical activity between people?

Re:prior art (1)

isorox (205688) | about a year ago | (#42383529)

There was a joke a while back about physically punching people through the computer screen, and today we have vibrators that work exactly like this (and vibrating underwear). Wouldn't that be prior art and an example of longdistance physical activity between people?

http://www.bash.org/?4281 [bash.org]

been done in cyberspace for over a century (4, Insightful)

rubycodez (864176) | about a year ago | (#42381979)

Cyberspace a hundred years ago included newspapers, telegrams and postal mail. Of course we gave virtual hugs and kisses with letters and telegrams: XX OO XXX OO

Re:been done in cyberspace for over a century (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42382055)

The best virtual hug ever was when a woman I was sleeping with was making a care package to send to her husband deployed in Afghanistan. First, she got him a DVD of his favorite Anime series, ripped it, then she spliced a surprise clip 3/4 of the way through of her performing oral sex on me, then spitting my semen (I had not ejaculated for weeks) into a big bowl of cookie batter before saying, "Hope you enjoyed the cookies, I want a divorce."

Both of us laughed as she sent the package of cookies and the DVD to him, and we heard that he convinced 5 or 6 friends to share the cookies and the Anime with him before they all inevitably discovered the unfortunate truth.

Now my mistress and I are spending Christmas together, making dinner for mutual friends. We will toast her divorce with her unavailable, uneducated, workaholic soon-to-be-ex husband.

Re:been done in cyberspace for over a century (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42382159)

I think you two assholes deserve each other.

Re:been done in cyberspace for over a century (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42382261)

Agreed. This guy is a complete asshole. As is his so called mistress. It will end in tears.

I'm no fan of the American wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and anywhere else - I could go on about that all day. But I have a lot of respect for the guys stuck there. I've had a bit of experience of that myself (different time, different war), but nothing like what some of these guys have to deal with. I can only try to imagine.

Now his asshole wife is cheating on him? She could at least be honest with him, but she chooses to make a fool of him.

I can only hope that he'll be back - in the full Terminator meaning of the phrase!

Re:been done in cyberspace for over a century (-1, Offtopic)

Attila Dimedici (1036002) | about a year ago | (#42382249)

I hope you enjoy it when a few of his buddies come home and take you to the hospital after you trip, fall, and break a few bones when they come up to you thank you for your part in baking those wonderful cookies. Perhaps no one ever told you that it is a really bad idea to piss off someone who kills people for a living.

Re:been done in cyberspace for over a century (-1, Troll)

Johann Lau (1040920) | about a year ago | (#42383523)

That's exactly right. You get trolled, and then you murder because of it. You hit the nail on the fucking head! Now shut the fuck up, and "put on a helmet, go wait in that fox hole. We'll tell you when we need you to kill somebody." (Bill Hicks) You don't kill for a living, you're hired killers for the living of somebody else.

God you're stupid. And the best thing is, even if you kill everybody, you'll still be dumb as a brick. How does that feel? You idiot make me wish the troll you fell for was real, and that it hit some assturd like you. Because hey, what use do you have with a woman? Either she's a cunt as well, then who gives a shit about any of you besides other morons; or she isn't, and her running away from you saves her precious time in which she can be with a human, instead of having to hope you get killed in action.

Re:been done in cyberspace for over a century (-1)

Johann Lau (1040920) | about a year ago | (#42383671)

If you see anything wrong with this, post anonymously from a proxy, so you can keep your pwecious moderation and prove you're not just sore because I told it like it is, and there isn't shit you can do about it.

I mean, what's next? Don't piss off cops? Don't be unfriendly to a doctor? Fuck that. Any and all people in positions of authority or power with that mindset deserve are weak ass scum. That's the part that really matters. And if that attitude doesn't piss you off, you're part of the problem.

Then there is the part that is hilarious, the troll bit and the reaction to it. Let me explain why you're an idiot: If someone's girlfriend runs off with someone else, and does THIS to their ex, then beating up the new guy is really just a macho reaction, designed to distract oneself from what a tool one is. It's not this guy's fault you're with a heartless slut, is it? It wasn't his idea, it was yours, and your "buddies" even support that decision. What a gang of useless assholes those imaginary buddies are indeed....they weren't there for you when you got together with the skank, they're not there for you when it's time to reflect on your mistake, either. They can't do that, that's not the relationship you have with them.

Friends are predetermined; friendship takes place between men and women who possess an intellectual and emotional affinity for each other. But comradeship â" that ecstatic bliss that comes with belonging to the crowd in wartime â" is within our reach. We can all have comrades. The danger of the external threat that comes when we have an enemy does not create friendship; it creates comradeship. And those in wartime are deceived about what they are undergoing. And this is why once the threat is over, once war ends, comrades again become strangers to us. This is why after war we fall into despair.

In friendship there is a deepening of our sense of self. We become, through the friend, more aware of who we are and what we are about; we find ourselves in the eyes of the friend. Friends probe and question and challenge each other to make each of us more complete; with comradeship, the kind that comes to us in patriotic fervor, there is a suppression of self-awareness, self-knowledge, and self-possession. Comrades lose their identities in wartime for the collective rush of a common cause â" a common purpose.

In comradeship there are no demands on the self. This is part of its appeal and one of the reasons we miss it and seek to recreate it. Comradeship allows us to escape the demands on the self that is part of friendship. In wartime when we feel threatened, we no longer face death alone but as a group, and this makes death easier to bear. We ennoble self-sacrifice for the other, for the comrade; in short we begin to worship death. And this is what the god of war demands of us.

Think finally of what it means to die for a friend. It is deliberate and painful; there is no ecstasy. For friends, dying is hard and bitter. The dialogue they have and cherish will perhaps never be recreated. Friends do not, the way comrades do, love death and sacrifice. To friends, the prospect of death is frightening. And this is why friendship or, let me say love, is the most potent enemy of war.

-- Chris Hedges

TLDR: Don't fucking flatter yourself.

Re:been done in cyberspace for over a century (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42382253)

The best virtual hug ever was when a woman I was sleeping with was making a care package to send to her husband deployed in Afghanistan. First, she got him a DVD of his favorite Anime series, ripped it, then she spliced a surprise clip 3/4 of the way through of her performing oral sex on me, then spitting my semen (I had not ejaculated for weeks) into a big bowl of cookie batter before saying, "Hope you enjoyed the cookies, I want a divorce."

Both of us laughed as she sent the package of cookies and the DVD to him, and we heard that he convinced 5 or 6 friends to share the cookies and the Anime with him before they all inevitably discovered the unfortunate truth.

Now my mistress and I are spending Christmas together, making dinner for mutual friends. We will toast her divorce with her unavailable, uneducated, workaholic soon-to-be-ex husband.

7/10, made me reply.

Re:been done in cyberspace for over a century (3, Insightful)

EdIII (1114411) | about a year ago | (#42382277)

This year's winner of the Darwin award.

Send semen filled cookies to a bunch of soldiers deployed in Afghanistan. No chance at all of them being impossibly pissed off, statistically one of them being mentally unbalanced due to the stress of war, and no chance at all of them being angry enough to seek revenge.

All of them stateside at some point, with expensive military training, access to weapons, and a reason to come find you and beat the living shit out of you.

Not to mention, as a whole, soliders seem to be the most homophobic. Personal opinion, I might be wrong.

Ohhhh, and soliders tend to have solider friends. Some of them might be stateside already.

Hehehe Hhehehe Heheheh........

Yes. Sleep soundly. Nothing to worry about at all.

Re:been done in cyberspace for over a century (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42383257)

I like the way you guys keep replying to this obvious troll. That's REALLY going to provide a disincentive for the next troll.

Do not feed the trolls. In other words, good job. Excellent work!

Re:been done in cyberspace for over a century (1)

AmiMoJo (196126) | about a year ago | (#42384011)

Just put your worst enemy's return address on the package. Like they are going to check.

Re:been done in cyberspace for over a century (1)

Frosty Piss (770223) | about a year ago | (#42382321)

... then spitting my semen (I had not ejaculated for weeks) into a big bowl of cookie batter... Now my mistress and I are spending Christmas together, making dinner for mutual friends.

I think I would avoid eating at your house...

Re:been done in cyberspace for over a century (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42382887)

I think I would avoid coming within a 2-mile radius of his house, when those guys get back home from deployment. Talk about bucking for a Darwin Award...

Re:been done in cyberspace for over a century (1)

Grimbleton (1034446) | about a year ago | (#42382329)

Hey cool I read this same exact story, except with a regular television show, not anime, about... let's see, fifteen years ago? Twenty?

Maybe you should steal something a little more obscure next time.

Re:been done in cyberspace for over a century (1)

davydagger (2566757) | about a year ago | (#42382361)

AC trolls hard.

This was a plot line from "Generation Kill" based on a real story.

Re:been done in cyberspace for over a century (1)

Johann Lau (1040920) | about a year ago | (#42383473)

I'm pretty sure I heard a permutation of this before, but without Anime or Afghanistan, and a cereal bowl instead of cookies. It's either from a movie or a rehashed troll... I started googling for it, but "spitting semen into cereal bowl video tape troll" didn't turn it up and I didn't care to look further. Anyway, lame.

Re:been done in cyberspace for over a century (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42388319)

Yea next time the bitch will turn on you and it will be YOU eating semen!

Re:been done in cyberspace for over a century (1)

CanEHdian (1098955) | about a year ago | (#42382125)

Not just that, what would come closer would be saying "give her a hug from me" to someone at a distant location, where this person would proceed to give an actual hug to a third party at/near that location.

Now you have this "...but on a computer". The next patent will be the same "...but on a mobile device, using location-based data".

Anything that is from "IBM", "Apple", "Microsoft", seems to be rubber-stamped approved.

Re:been done in cyberspace for over a century (1)

dimeglio (456244) | about a year ago | (#42382241)

Might because that's all the press really reports on. I'm sure there are thousands of patents granted each month to others.

Re:been done in cyberspace for over a century (1)

ArsonSmith (13997) | about a year ago | (#42383283)

Mobile device location-based remote hugging. Would be great if there was an app that could identify where your target was and find someone near by with the app that could forward on your hug to that person.

Re:what would come closer (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42385555)

The term is "Teledildonics".

I want to know what ...uh ... cums/comes closer than ... uh... those. Prior ... art ... to be sure.

Re:been done in cyberspace for over a century (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42382139)

Cyberspace a hundred years ago included newspapers, telegrams and postal mail. Of course we gave virtual hugs and kisses with letters and telegrams: XX OO XXX OO

>Cyberspace a hundred years ago...

Wait, what?

Re:been done in cyberspace for over a century (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42382591)

the X for a kiss comes from the middle ages when most people were illiterate. to sign a legal document an illiterate person would make a mark on the paper and kiss it; the mark used was often an X.

Re:been done in cyberspace for over a century (1)

c++0xFF (1758032) | about a year ago | (#42383573)

I was going to point out Facebook's "poke" feature, but I like yours better.

More egrgious patent.. (1)

jkrise (535370) | about a year ago | (#42382007)

is the smiley patent, awarded to Microsoft.

http://www.zdnet.com/microsoft-frowned-at-for-smiley-patent-3039210396/ [zdnet.com]

That could be used to get injunctions over any number of devices. Virtual handshakes and hugs have limited use cases, in my view.

Re:More egrgious patent.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42384017)

Again, yet another patent that should never have been awarded due to prior art. Telepresence has always included the concept of force-feedback as it was initially studied for uses in remote surgery, remote undersea construction and other hazardous areas like nuclear power applications, etc. The wiki page on Telepresence specifically states "Haptic teleoperation refers to a system that provides some sort of tactile force feedback to the user, so the user feels some approximation of the weight, firmness, size, and/or texture of the remote objects manipulated by the robot."

The Three E's (1)

Ynot_82 (1023749) | about a year ago | (#42382017)

A rather literal take on the first step.
Hopes are high for the 'extend' part, but swiftly dwindle at the thought being virtually extinguished

On behalf of FOSS and /. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42382075)

I claim public conception for the idea of giving someone a virtual kick in the ass!

This should not be patentable. (2)

edibobb (113989) | about a year ago | (#42382095)

This is not new, unique, or nontrivial. Unfortunately, that seems to be the rule rather than the exception for the USPTO.

Re:This should not be patentable. (3, Interesting)

GiantRobotMonster (1159813) | about a year ago | (#42382941)

If we all ignore them, wont they go away?

Anybody know an easy way to get Slashdot to filter out *all* patent related stories? They are always ridiculous, even when they're accurate!

I had enough of this crap when I wasn't allowed to make a protocol I was implementing work as efficiently as it could, because Motorola had a patent on the concept of "Pardon? Could you repeat yourself please?" in this particular context. Utterly freaking ridiculous.

The current patent system does not encourage innovation -- it encourages taking out patents.

Hint -- follow the money.

Re:This should not be patentable. (1)

russotto (537200) | about a year ago | (#42383477)

This is not new, unique, or nontrivial. Unfortunately, that seems to be the rule rather than the exception for the USPTO.

I suspect (without reading the patent, since this IS slashdot) you'll also find that the patent is non-instructive. That is, one skilled in the art could not learn, from the patent, how to implement the invention. They just threw up a bunch of likely techniques in the air without ironing out the remaining practical problems with them, and hope when someone else bothers to solve them, they can sue.

Re:This should not be patentable. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42389583)

This is not new, unique, or nontrivial. Unfortunately, that seems to be the rule rather than the exception for the USPTO.

100% agree. You could do this right now with an arduino and already invented pieces. It is utter bullshit and a total embarrassment to anyone calling themselves a claims examiner that they would grant a patent for this.

Skype? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42382135)

Skype has a bug, it inverts the video so one person is right side up and one person upside down. Yes I know, you think I'm trolling and MS isn't so incompetent, but I promise you they really are that incompetent, they really did write an app that can't get both videos right way up:

http://community.skype.com/t5/Android/Upside-down-video-on-Android/td-p/478287

So they've got this idea that one person will wrap they arms around another via Skype, and perhaps give them a kiss, maybe a frenchie, ... get that tongue in

teledildonics (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42382165)

How can they patent something that's been known about for so long, even detailed descriptions and working prototypes?

Wasn't this on the Big Bang Theory? (1)

smooth wombat (796938) | about a year ago | (#42382213)

There was an episode where Howard came up with a set of lips which two people could use to virtually kiss. How you kissed and tongued the lips would correspond to the other person.

I think there' prior art for this.

Re:Wasn't this on the Big Bang Theory? (3, Informative)

BillX (307153) | about a year ago | (#42382643)

I saw someone demo a similar system at a small art exhibit a while back (Intro.Inter.Tech 2007 [turbulence.org]). There was not (yet) a force-feedback interface tied in, but kissable cubes / 'lips' with embedded cameras and software that superimposed the kissers over a telepresence system. I was there showing an internet-connected vibrators project (which was not a new idea even then), so tying in appropriate methods to transmit force remotely is not exactly a stretch of the imagination.

Teledildonics are prior art (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42382251)

Invalidate now!

Prior art? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42382259)

I swear I remember hearing something about tech like this over 10 years ago. Something about two people wearing bracelets and you could tap them to send pulse messages? And I also think I remember something about remote control sex devices for long distance relationships? THROWDOWN!! The porn industry vs Microsoft!!

How much for a license? (2)

anasciiman (528060) | about a year ago | (#42382367)

I am simply not going to pay Microsoft a license fee each time I hug someone.

Re:How much for a license? (1)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | about a year ago | (#42382697)

I am simply not going to pay Microsoft a license fee each time I hug someone.

It's all part of their grand scheme to take over the world by charging CAL's for sex.

Re:How much for a license? (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about a year ago | (#42383851)

That might work. It just might.

I don't seem to be able to get our CIO to pony up for them any other way.

new requirement for patents (1)

davydagger (2566757) | about a year ago | (#42382385)

should be proving you have a working prototype of plausable design for one.

We need to stop letting these weasels just get patents for everything they can "think" of, or guess might be viable some day,and then steal the work from the persons who actually makes one a few years later, because they made a good.

I still don't like the idea you can own an idea.

Re:new requirement for patents (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42382495)

i own the idea of not liking the idea you can own an idea.

pay up!

Re:new requirement for patents (1)

flimflammer (956759) | about a year ago | (#42385233)

I recall at least two applications of this same sort of thing being done already. It's not even locked inside the realm of Microsoft's imagination; it's already in use by others!

http://mixedrealitylab.org/virtual-hugs-and-intelligent-pillows-invented-in-asia/ [mixedrealitylab.org]
http://www.mytware.com/ [mytware.com]
http://spectrum.ieee.org/at-work/tech-careers/adrian-cheok-making-a-huggable-internet [ieee.org]

I wish I could bring myself to stop reading patent stories. I don't have enough mental facepalms for them anymore.

Quick, someone send me some money... (1)

rjr162 (69736) | about a year ago | (#42382409)

So we can patent a virtual vagina! You know for use with your loved one where your out on long business trips (although it could also be used in conjunction with porn sites)

Forget that! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42382535)

You want a patent on virtual cunnilingus!

Re:Quick, someone send me some money... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42383035)

already done. realtouchinteractive.com

I while never use this technology. (1)

xyourfacekillerx (939258) | about a year ago | (#42382523)

It's bad enough I have to sit down in a neutral zone and not multitask now that these days I'm expected to skype or some such with facetime. I usually do a lot of things on the when just speaking, like washing dishes, folding clothes, going to bathroom. But no. Now I have to sit there and do nothing at all. Now they want us to install robotic telefeedback mechanisms? Fuck get real.

How Can Microsoft Invent Something from Star Trek (1)

kawabago (551139) | about a year ago | (#42382525)

This is not a new idea! Star Trek Holodecks used force feedback to make holograms appear solid. I don't think it matters that it was science fiction, the idea was out there for decades, it's not original.

Re:How Can Microsoft Invent Something from Star Tr (1)

spire3661 (1038968) | about a year ago | (#42382783)

There is precedent for patents being denied because of Sci-Fi prior art. The inventor of the waterbed was denied because of Heinlein.

Re:How Can Microsoft Invent Something from Star Tr (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42383109)

Except prior art hasn't stopped M$ from patent trolling and making more money off android phones than Google does.

More evidence of how broken USPTO is (1)

Eggplant62 (120514) | about a year ago | (#42382583)

Virtual hugs and handshakes? Did anyone even question the obviousness here? What's next? Patenting a method by which we should arrive at 4 given that we're adding 2 and 2 or 3 and 1 or 4 and 0?

Re:More evidence of how broken USPTO is (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42382967)

Oh good god, don't give them more ideas. Any day now I expect them to patent boiled water...

Prior art (1)

QuietLagoon (813062) | about a year ago | (#42382603)

Wasn't there a Big Bang Theory episode that feature this technique?

MUDs (1)

Chewbacon (797801) | about a year ago | (#42382745)

Played many of them with hugs, handshakes, gropes, kisses and just about anything else you can imagine over the past 17 years. USPTO is full of shit and could mitigate this by doing a little fucking homework.

In other words (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42382773)

Microsoft no longer has anything truly innovative to patent. They just want to become patent trolls.

This is already a commercial product (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42382999)

This is already a commercial product, covered by exiting patents.
realtouchinteractive.com

has anyone considered the implications? (1)

HPHatecraft (2748003) | about a year ago | (#42383023)

falcon punch/TCP/IP!

I think the trick will be getting that special person to wear the harness...

Right, "hugs" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42383081)

Someone wants the FUFMe real bad at MS.

Awwww... hugz, anyone? (1)

LaggedOnUser (1856626) | about a year ago | (#42383169)

Did anyone else just envision a future Slashdot, except with fuzzy, warm hugs instead of mod points? Now I can see what this site has been lacking all this time... Thanks, Microsoft!

This is stupid (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42383553)

Not only is this stupid... I hope you see my Virtual hand giving your the Virtual finger(tm).

Oh wait maybe I should patent it.

No I will just (tm) it instead.

Prior art (3, Informative)

roc97007 (608802) | about a year ago | (#42383751)

I'm pretty sure the Japanese have prior art. I remember reading an article awhile back about virtual kissing devices. Both people had robot lip and tongue devices connected via the net. I'm sure that couldn't be as nasty as it sounds.

But in any case, does this mean that Chuck Lorre owes Microsoft license fees? [the-big-bang-theory.com] Or perhaps vice-versa?

Microsoft Patents Virtual Handshakes, Hugs, BJs (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42384517)

Surely they are not going to leave BJs, Hand Jobs, etc, off the patent.

Comin' round again (1)

Tablizer (95088) | about a year ago | (#42385719)

Microsoft Bob and Clippy just won't die: "Your blog says you're sad; would you like a hug?"

Haptic Chicken Jacket.... (1)

cancerouspete (2746963) | about a year ago | (#42385803)

anybody else familiar with the remote, internet connected haptic feedback petting jacket for chickens - a psychological study.
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