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Microsoft Patents The Body Bus

timothy posted more than 10 years ago | from the wait-for-service-pack-2 dept.

Patents 508

Mz6 writes "Microsoft has been awarded a patent for using human skin as a power conduit and data bus. Patent No. 6,754,472, which was published Tuesday, describes a method for transmitting power and data to devices worn on the body and for communication of data between those devices. In its filing, Microsoft cites the proliferation of wearable electronic devices, such as wristwatches, pagers, PDAs (worn on people's belts) and small displays that can now be mounted on headgear. "As a result of carrying multiple portable electronic devices, there is often a significant amount of redundancy in terms of input/output devices included in the portable devices used by a single person," says the filing. "For example, a watch, pager, PDA and radio may all include a speaker." To reduce the redundancy of input/output devices, Microsoft's patent proposes a personal area network that allows a single data input or output device to be used by multiple portable devices." (What about DoCoMo's research in this area?)

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oh here we go again (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9507827)

wow

And in other news.... (5, Funny)

ShepyNCL (740977) | more than 10 years ago | (#9507830)

..... Micrsoft to sue all future survivors of lightning strikes.

I'll try extra hard not to get electrocuted now... (4, Funny)

JohnTheFisherman (225485) | more than 10 years ago | (#9507834)

I'm an EE, and I don't want my wife to inherit a lawsuit for patent infringement. ;)

Wrong icon (4, Funny)

essreenim (647659) | more than 10 years ago | (#9508153)

If ever there was justifiable reason to use the Borg icon instead of patent pending, I think this was it ...

: )

This might be valid (4, Insightful)

Woodrow (21174) | more than 10 years ago | (#9507840)

This is a physical device and if there is no prior art then I think this is a very valid patent.

Re:This might be valid (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9507881)

Wasn't Tesla doing this a century ago?

Re:This might be valid (0, Flamebait)

Woodrow (21174) | more than 10 years ago | (#9507910)

So Telsa had a portable computers and wanted to link them all? As a device this might be unique. Now there may be prior art on this subject so then it would not be unique.

Re:This might be valid (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9507916)

> This is a physical device and if there is no prior art then I think this is a
> very valid patent.

Like all patents, you mean? I'd be suprised if there was no prior art close enough to the patent to make it worthless. Some lie detectors work this way. What about those kooky Scientology E-Meters - aren't they similar too?

Re:This might be valid (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9508152)

Is the lady at the circus who hold a lightbulb in one hand and put her other hand on a large powersource enough prior art for you?

Seriously, people have been using human skin/body parts for simple tricks like that for a long, long time...Nikola Tesla, cough, cough.

Headline: MS buys PS3 CELL Patent (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9507848)

No surprise there.

Hmmm (0)

Ag3nt (790820) | more than 10 years ago | (#9507854)

Well it certainly is an incredible discovery, I just wish that it wasn't Mircosoft that discovered it...

WTF? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9507860)

I first heard of this idea in the 1980's!

the "Gates of Borg" picture (5, Funny)

saforrest (184929) | more than 10 years ago | (#9507861)

Somehow, the topic icon of Bill as a Borg seems more appropriate than ever.

My thoughts exactly. (5, Informative)

Brandon Glass (790653) | more than 10 years ago | (#9507987)

I guess Kevin Warwick [kevinwarwick.com] will enjoy the prospect of the Personal Area Network as described above, though. Now if only we could find a way to embed these devices directly into the skin and/or find a way to connect the input jacks directly into our brains...

(For those who don't know, Kevin Warwick is Professor of Cybernetics at Reading University, and performed an experiment on himself by implanting a tracking device into his arm, which allowed computers to determine which room he was in, and make judgements based on his position).

Re:My thoughts exactly. (2, Insightful)

RMH101 (636144) | more than 10 years ago | (#9508038)

perhaps someone could implant something right up his pipes, the horrible little self-agrandising worm.

Obligatory (2, Funny)

chrispl (189217) | more than 10 years ago | (#9507862)

Great now I can BSOD my brain!

Re:Obligatory (1)

cliffa3 (789920) | more than 10 years ago | (#9507988)

and you forgot that...
In Soviet Russia, the patents claim YOU!

What are you doing there with all these women? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9507863)

A beowulf.

No, really!

Re:What are you doing there with all these women? (5, Funny)

kpansky (577361) | more than 10 years ago | (#9508074)

What are you doing there with those hands?

Imagining a beowulf cluster.

WHAT A LOAD OF BORING SHIT (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9507866)

WHAT A LOAD OF BORING SHIT

In other news, riaa speaks out (5, Funny)

MDFedderly (789643) | more than 10 years ago | (#9507868)

When any of your portable devices detect that the DRM has been violated for their IP, they would like the wearer of the device to recieve a powerful electric shock, capable of causing paralysis.

And in other news... (5, Funny)

mikael (484) | more than 10 years ago | (#9507872)

...Microsoft have announced they are patenting the use of the human body as a energy source for computers.

Re:And in other news... (2, Funny)

nkh (750837) | more than 10 years ago | (#9508061)

Prior art: Larry and Andy Wachowski for The Matrix!

why not? (2, Funny)

twitter (104583) | more than 10 years ago | (#9508108)

That's a natural, given how much you have to run around to keep the average M$ powered computer going. Might as well stick the operator in a squirrel cage.

Borg Love (4, Funny)

mfh (56) | more than 10 years ago | (#9507873)

The Microsoft Slashdot icon has never been more accurate that it is with this article. Where are they getting the human skin to test this on? Interns? Seriously, though... just stick your finger into these electrodes, please.

Now that we can all be Borg, so I just want to know how long before we have Borg incubation chambers? Anyone with kids will back me on this... we need them. I would think the skin bus might cause cancer, wouldn't you? No FUD about it... this could be some scary shit when you consider Microsoft's security record, as well.

Re:Borg Love (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9507994)

I'm an intern in an electronics test lab. I thank god every day that we don't do testing for M$.

Re:Borg Love (5, Funny)

dlmarti (7677) | more than 10 years ago | (#9508067)

So what happens when my wife and I have sex.
Do the two networks connect?
Is my watch going to get a virus from her cellphone earings???

I have now officially coined the phrase "Sexually Transmitted Computer Virus" or STCV's.

I would love to see the sylibus for the sex-ed classes in 2010.

Re:Borg Love (3, Funny)

NecroPuppy (222648) | more than 10 years ago | (#9508132)

Where are they getting the human skin to test this on? Interns?

Sure.

Cause you don't build social attachement to MS Interns like you do to rats...

The difference is... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9507878)

DoCoMo isn't Microsoft.

Does this work??? (3, Insightful)

bollow (a) NoLockIn (785367) | more than 10 years ago | (#9507879)

This sounds very much like science fiction to me. Are there any proof-of-concept studies in this direction?

My gut feeling is:

  • Data transmission: maybe, but bandwidth will be low.
  • Power supply: won't work

Re:Does this work??? (5, Informative)

JPriest (547211) | more than 10 years ago | (#9508145)

RTFA, the DoCoMo technology said they can exchange data between people at up to 10 meg. The DoCoMo tech lets users exchange email address and "buisness card" data with a handshake. Cool stuff.

If it rains... (3, Funny)

dickeya (733264) | more than 10 years ago | (#9507880)

stay home. And don't ever move to Seattle.

Upon further research (5, Funny)

darth_MALL (657218) | more than 10 years ago | (#9507884)

They are also patenting the human built-in telescopic antenna array. Unfortunately, it will only be available to approximately 50% of the population.

Re:Upon further research (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9508078)

array?? how many do you have?

the other 50%.. (3, Funny)

Hooya (518216) | more than 10 years ago | (#9508150)

well, with the download well present in the other 50% of the population, data mining just became a helluva lot more fun!

It's power not data (5, Informative)

malefic (736824) | more than 10 years ago | (#9507885)

DoCoMo's research is to transfer data via the body, which IBM also has done research (and most likely has some patents on). The MS patent is to power non-powered devices by having a power supply somewhere else that transmits the current through the skin. Similar, but different.

Handshaking (5, Insightful)

nucal (561664) | more than 10 years ago | (#9507886)

So I guess this might ultimately allow the transfer of data literally through a handshake ...

Re:Handshaking (2, Funny)

WormholeFiend (674934) | more than 10 years ago | (#9507922)

And bring new meaning to the words "male and female connectors".

Re:Handshaking (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9508029)

Obligatory Simpsons Quote:

George Stephanopoulos: Uh, Mr. President, Sir. People are becoming a bit... confused by the way your and your opponent are, well, constantly holding hands.

Clinton: We are merely exchanging long protein strings. If you can think of a simpler way, I'd like to hear it.

Re:Handshaking (3, Interesting)

earthman (12244) | more than 10 years ago | (#9508052)

Already some years ago I have read somewhere (link, anyone?) about how this kind of technology could be used to automatically exchange virtual business cards when you shake hands with someone. So this isn't exactly something new.

Re:Handshaking (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9508131)

I recall that, too, and it seems to me it was an IBM research.

Re:Handshaking (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9508161)

I recall that too, because ITS IN THE FUCKING ARTICLE YOU SMELLY TAMPON

too many caps is like yelling

douchebag

Let's see... (4, Funny)

The Ape With No Name (213531) | more than 10 years ago | (#9507887)

When I was 5 I discovered electricity for myself by sticking a fork in an outlet. Thereby proving Benjamin Franklin right and developing prior art to use against Microsoft. Ah, the follies of youth.

Wait a minute... (1)

Ag3nt (790820) | more than 10 years ago | (#9507888)

Now that I have stopped and thought about it, how are they going to prevent electrical shocks when the devices/person come in contact with a conductive material...

Re:Wait a minute... (1)

Enigma_Man (756516) | more than 10 years ago | (#9507954)

By not using currents or voltages that could cause a noticeable shock...

It's not a difficult concept, the human body is just a mildly poor conductor. It'd be like getting a patent for sending data across a big, meaty resistor.

-Jesse

Seems original enough (1)

l33t-gu3lph1t3 (567059) | more than 10 years ago | (#9507892)

It's sure as hell not obvious to me, and I haven't heard of anyone else doing it yet?

Re:Seems original enough (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9508019)

It goes far back as 'Animal Electricity' discovery that electric impulses can trigger muscules to contract.

I think M has a list of keyword conbinations with low frequency of occurance in filed patents and trying to fill up to void.
~omi

Microsoft calls this tech... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9507899)

...ActiveHerpes.

I prefer to pick up my own viruses and worms, thank you. I don't need MS "delivering" them to my skin.

Dangerous? (0)

k4_pacific (736911) | more than 10 years ago | (#9507904)

This sounds like something that would cause cancer.

Oooohh... I can't wait for the class action lawsuit.

Microsoft sponsered underwear? (1, Funny)

Roskolnikov (68772) | more than 10 years ago | (#9507914)

Body bus enabled Active X pronographic vibromatic undergarments will bring new and pleasurable levels to all your
pron needs.

Can't wait until the first bus fault.

How about linking multiple body buses in a free for all?

Underwear virus (2, Insightful)

Benanov (583592) | more than 10 years ago | (#9508001)

I'm just worried about the potential security vulnerabilities. I mean, imagine someone running down the street, flailing their arms wildly, screaming "My underwear's been infected by a virus! I can't take it off!"

Re:Underwear virus (1)

The Queen (56621) | more than 10 years ago | (#9508134)

I was thinking almost the same thing. So now I'll have to worry about brushing up against people so that A) I won't catch the flu and B) I won't acidentally download trojans and pr0nware from their implants.

No thanks, I'll stick with the laptop.

Re:Microsoft sponsered underwear? (1)

molarmass192 (608071) | more than 10 years ago | (#9508004)

Finally a Microsoft product that I would gladly hand over money for ... XBoxers.

Is this new? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9507920)

I think i have the right of prior act.

Or am i going to be sued of touching the powerline?

So, instead of each device having a speaker... (4, Interesting)

foxtrot (14140) | more than 10 years ago | (#9507928)

...a relatively small, cheap speaker, each device will instead have a relatively large, expensive widget to use our nerves as cat-5 (human-5?) so we only have to shlep around one little speaker?

They are kidding, right?

-JDF

Re:So, instead of each device having a speaker... (2, Interesting)

Planesdragon (210349) | more than 10 years ago | (#9508106)

No.

Instead of each device having a battery and a wireless radio, each device will have a data I/O and a power I/O device. You'll be able to have one efficient battery power your watch, PDA, cell phone, and display-eye-wear.

In related news... (0, Redundant)

dfn5 (524972) | more than 10 years ago | (#9507929)

Microsoft sues Mother Nature over patent infringment for striking a golfer dead with lightning.

Oh great (4, Funny)

foidulus (743482) | more than 10 years ago | (#9507934)

I beta tested the stuff, and now my butt won't stop rebooting...

Re:Oh great (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9508030)

Just clean up the mess after unexpected core dumps.

Re:Oh great (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9508094)

I hope your ass is set on mini crash dump or you're going to be sore as hell tommorrow.

good luck MS (5, Informative)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 10 years ago | (#9507937)

A personal area network (PAN) is a technology that could enable wearable computer devices to communicate with other nearby computers and exchange digital information using the electrical conductivity of the human body as a data network. For example, two people each wearing business card-size transmitters and receivers conceivably could exchange information by shaking hands. The transference of data through intra-body contact, such as handshakes, is known as linkup. The human body's natural salinity makes it a good conductor of electricity. An electric field passes tiny currents, known as Pico amps, through the body when the two people shake hands. The handshake completes an electric circuit and each person's data, such as e-mail addresses and phone numbers, are transferred to the other person's laptop computer or a similar device. A person's clothing also could act as a mechanism for transferring this data.

The concept of a PAN first was developed by Thomas Zimmerman and other researchers at M.I.T.'s Media Lab and later supported by IBM's Almaden research lab.

sorry but MIT and IBM is way ahead of Microsoft in this with prior art.

hell I made a example prototype from the information I recieved from mister Zimmerman back in 1997 for playing around with PAN's when i was heavy into the wearable computing research.

Microsoft, what Idea can we steal today?

Re:good luck MS (1)

GPLDAN (732269) | more than 10 years ago | (#9508091)

hell I made a example prototype from the information I recieved from mister Zimmerman back in 1997 for playing around with PAN's when i was heavy into the wearable computing research.

Is that why your handle is "Lumpy"? :-)

Why didnt I think of that (1)

stecoop (759508) | more than 10 years ago | (#9507938)

proliferation of wearable electronic devices such as wristwatches

For every patent somone says, "Why Didn't I patent that?". Now if I would have gathered a team of lawyers and a little money; I could collect roylties for all the users of wristwatches (by the way I better cease wearing mine)....

Legit? (1)

The_Wilschon (782534) | more than 10 years ago | (#9507942)

Much as I hate to admit it.... This does seem like a legitimate thing to patent. If it weren't Microsorft, I'd be cheering for the Patent Office actually doing something right for once.... That is IF there is no prior art. Which I have no idea about.

BTW- can I patent the recursive Fibonnacci algorithm??

H4x (1)

Ag3nt (790820) | more than 10 years ago | (#9507956)

If devices come out in the future that use this interface with internet connectivity, does this mean that you could hack a person?

If this was not Microsoft... (3, Insightful)

Woodrow (21174) | more than 10 years ago | (#9507959)

would anyone have any objections to this patent? This patent covers a physical device made of atoms just like 100% of all patents applied for 100 years ago. I do nto agree with sofwtare patents but I do with patents covering physical devices.

Re:If this was not Microsoft... (2, Insightful)

callipygian-showsyst (631222) | more than 10 years ago | (#9508125)

Of course not! If Steve Jobs (not to be confused with his close relative that Clinton talks about in his new book) were to have developed this so your iPod could talk to your Newton, everyone here would be drooling and saying "OOOH! Steeevie, you're SO SMART" and camping outside the Apple Store to buy one.

Give Microsoft a break here! The invented some physical device and they have a great reason to patent it.

Anyone who has ever been electrocuted (3, Insightful)

dpilot (134227) | more than 10 years ago | (#9507965)

has violated this patent. Plus the old experiment in school, where the whole class holds hands in a string, and the person on each end each touches one lobe of a Van Der Graff generator. Everyone's hair rises, and whoever breaks the circuit gets the shock - but there was a circuit and power was being delivered, it was even doing work.

Here's the problem:

Patents are being awarded for spending a little time thinking. For having the luxury of free time to think, and company lawyers to file, companies are able to establish themselves as a gatekeeper.

Patents should be the product of effort - they were meant to reward that effort, and incent you to expend that amount of effort again in the future.

IMHO, these 'few hours of thought' patents are diametrically opposed to the concept of patents as enumerated in the Constitution.

Re:Anyone who has ever been electrocuted (1)

coffee addict (790440) | more than 10 years ago | (#9508092)

It's transmitting power to devices worn on the body. Transferring electricity to your hair probably doesn't count as a device worn on the body (unless... well... you know. It's not real...) I would agree with the second part of your comment though.

Re:Anyone who has ever been electrocuted (1)

isd_glory (787646) | more than 10 years ago | (#9508162)

Yeah... read the patent next time.

"A pulsed DC signal or AC signal may be used as the power source. By using multiple power supply signals of differing frequencies, different devices can be selectively powered"

What they're doing is more than running straight DC/AC through the human body. That old experiment where everyone holds hands and touches Van De Graff generators relies on static electricity, as well as a modest attempt to complete a circuit. The patent seems to describe how to to get power through the body (not just over, like static electricity), without having the benefit of having a "ground." It also describes methods of sustaining different power requirements for different devices by modifying the frequency at which the power is pulsed. Cool stuff indeed.

Florida owes royalties (1)

Tokerat (150341) | more than 10 years ago | (#9507969)


Next time someone goes to the chair, Florida owes royalties, big time!

IBM did this years ago. (3, Informative)

swngnmonk (210826) | more than 10 years ago | (#9507971)

I remember IBM had a demo product that would exchange virtual business cards via a handshake - it might well have been a plug-in to a Palm Pilot They theorized max xfer at 2400bps at the time - this was 1996-7 or so. Still looking for the link.

This has to be a joke (1)

snipersock (575598) | more than 10 years ago | (#9507978)

This has to be a joke of some kind. Not only is microsoft making a 'personal area network' out of your body, but they are patenting the idea. I just have a hard time understanding that they plan on having data actuall flow through us to and from the devices. Wtf happens if one gets a viri?

Re:This has to be a joke (1)

walt-sjc (145127) | more than 10 years ago | (#9508158)

Actually, think about it. Your watch is also a smartcard / PDA. Touch the computer mouse and you are logged in, and your watch PDA syncs too.

Yeah, could do this with bluetooth, but BT is power hungry. Perhaps you could recharge your PDA watch this way too.

But why oh why did it have to be MS? WinCE on a watch PDA? No thanks.

We are the Borg (5, Funny)

shachart (471014) | more than 10 years ago | (#9507983)

Resistence is futile... errr... patented.

Awesome (5, Insightful)

isd_glory (787646) | more than 10 years ago | (#9507991)

Borg coments aside, I'd love to see this work. Turning the human skin into a data path has wonderful medical applications. Imagine being able to monitor pacemakers, hearing aids, and other prosthetic devices non-invasively.

Furthermore, this could open up the prospect of "implants" to help humans with different things. If Microsoft can really get data and power running through the human body, it could really usher in a new age of computing.

Power conduit, not supply (1)

Sajma (78337) | more than 10 years ago | (#9508000)

Lots of people are joking about MS using the body as a power supply, which is not what this is claiming.

They want to use the body as a power *conduit*.

One word: bzzzzzzt!

IBM has prior art. (1)

kulakovich (580584) | more than 10 years ago | (#9508003)


Personal Area Network used a pager sized device to store "business-card" type data, which was transmitted from one PAN user to another PAN user via the physical handshake of their owners.

Obviously the US Patent Office needs to get off its collective ass and read Slashdot.

kulakovich

Mod parent down! Re:IBM has prior art. (1)

kulakovich (580584) | more than 10 years ago | (#9508096)


Mod me down for typing so damn slow that someone beat me to the punch!

Curses!

Soylent Windows... (1)

Jrod5000 at RPI (229934) | more than 10 years ago | (#9508013)

is PEOPLE!!

Dongle (1)

pete-classic (75983) | more than 10 years ago | (#9508021)

PDAs (worn on people's belts)


Neither my PDA nor my belt makes routine contact with my skin. And I tuck my shirt in . . .

So, I'd need some sort of, uh, dongle that goes down my pants.

Uh. Hu-huh.

-Peter

But Wait!!! (1)

Ag3nt (790820) | more than 10 years ago | (#9508023)

I agree but, still....its Mircosoft. I don't trust them on my computer. Why would I trust them on/in my body?

Re:But Wait!!! (1)

BCW2 (168187) | more than 10 years ago | (#9508115)

Absolutely. Can you imagine the problems a crash could cause?

Exchange viruses by touch alone! (2, Funny)

Elphin (7066) | more than 10 years ago | (#9508028)

Just wait until the first virus is written for such a system which can be spread by touch alone!

"Damn, I've got the Blue Arm of Death! Could someone press my reset switch for me"

You Gotta Have Skin (0, Offtopic)

scottennis (225462) | more than 10 years ago | (#9508031)

You Gotta Have Skin
(Alan Sherman)

You gotta have skin,
All you really need is skin
Skin's the thing that if you've got it outside
It helps keep your insides in

It covers your nose,
And it's wrapped around your toes
And inside it you put lemon meringue
And outside, you hang your clothes

Skin is what you feel at home in
And without it, furthermore
Both your liver and abdomen
Would keep falling on the floor
(And you'd be dressed in your intestine)

A Siamese twin
Needs an extra set of skin
And when the doctor knows that you're feelin' sick
Where does he stick his needle in?
In the end of your skin

Ben Franklin has you beat!!! (0, Troll)

AetherBurner (670629) | more than 10 years ago | (#9508035)

Ben Frankin and lightning - prior art. Anyone who touched the input of an audio amp and heard a buzz or an AM radio station - prior art. Anyone who walked across a carpet and shocked someone on the ear - prior art. ROTFLMAO!!!!

DoCoMo (1)

Torinaga-Sama (189890) | more than 10 years ago | (#9508039)

I am sure if DoCoMo was concerned they would have filed a patenet in the USA. As it is they don't really do business here so it seems kind of pointless o pay to register a patent here.

The might have been able to make a boat load of money, but I guess that is a gamble they didn't take.

Overly broad (1)

erick99 (743982) | more than 10 years ago | (#9508054)

Using the human body as, essentially, a "common return" is a logical place for technology to go. I think issuing a patent for it is a bit overly broad. It's almost like issuing a patent for the "sidewalk" as a method for allowing people to walk from one place to another without stepping on grass, etc.

Happy Trails!

Erick

Body Buzz (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9508056)

Body Buzz? Sounds good to me! ;-)

Yes, but ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9508082)

... where do you insert the fuse ?

See IBM (4, Interesting)

TheLink (130905) | more than 10 years ago | (#9508095)

There's some prior art for data transmission:
http://www.almaden.ibm.com/cs/user/ pan/pan.html

Where MS patent is different is they claim to do _power_ transmission as well.

I wonder about a Mr Tesla...

That said, I'm personally not comfortable with the idea of transmitting significant amounts of electrical power through my body- even low level power. Not sure what the side effects would be.

Already there are some studies that indicate that electromagnetic fields do affect the body AND brain [cognitiveliberty.org] .

Physiological-Sexual Implications of this tech (3, Funny)

MacGoldstein (619138) | more than 10 years ago | (#9508104)

I stumbled across this link, and although it strictly deals with bandwidth (not also with power, as in the Microsoft technology), it must be posted.

Because, although many of us have suspected it before, it is now pretty much obvious that sooner or later, penises will have higher bandwidths than cable modems. [everything2.com]

Brings a whole new meaning to the networking term "trunk".

I can see it now:

Defendant: No, no, no your honor, you've got it all wrong! Her battery died and I was just jumpstarting her devices!
Judge: Couldn't you have just shaken her hand?
Defendant: I thought if we got our juices flowing, maybe the conductivity would be greater?

...*ducks*

This is a good thing (2, Insightful)

91degrees (207121) | more than 10 years ago | (#9508118)

It's a new idea. While it has been known for a long time that the body conducts electricity, sending data through the body has not been acheived before. There has to be a good reason for this.

Presumably Microsoft has solved some specific engineering problems. They also probably spent a lot of money on solving them.

Why shouldn't they be entitled to financial reward?

RESISTANCE (2)

AragornSonOfArathorn (454526) | more than 10 years ago | (#9508124)

IS FUTILE

...or at least pretty high... dry skin isn't a great conductor ;-)

They can have this one (1)

Cro Magnon (467622) | more than 10 years ago | (#9508140)

I agree that anyone who turns himself into a Borg ought to pay royalties to Microsoft.

Priot art (1)

jbeaupre (752124) | more than 10 years ago | (#9508146)

I remember reading over a decade ago about IBM developing a way for people to exchange electronic business cards through a serial connection formed when people shake hands. Sounded very cool and I've been watching for it ever since. So using skin to transmit data from one individual to another is out. Also, there is work with FES (functional electrical stimulation, aka artificial nerves) that requires transmiting programing instructions to an implanted computer. So transmiting data from outside to in is out. Finally, a friend's dad had an implanted computer for controling back pain that had power management controled by a magnet. These by themselves would limit MS's claims. Reading them out of context makes it sound too broad. Do a missing element analysis with reference to the specification and prior art and patents make more sense.

Strangling linux (1)

Turn-X Alphonse (789240) | more than 10 years ago | (#9508147)

When is Microsoft going to patent destroying other useful software because they didn't make it? We all know they do it so why not just admit it and patent something they do rather then stuff other people did several years before

Violating this patent... (2, Funny)

Vaginal Discharge (706367) | more than 10 years ago | (#9508156)

... will cost you an arm and a leg.

Lots of Prior Art (2, Informative)

linuxtelephony (141049) | more than 10 years ago | (#9508166)

Several years ago there was someone that created this technology. When two people with PDAs using this technology shook hands, the PDAs used the "circuit" to exchange contact information. The logic went something like, if you shake their hand, you want to share and collect their information. Unlike wireless, you didn't just blindly share your info with everyone in close proximity.
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