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Microsoft Patents Virtual Handshakes, Hugs

theodp (442580) writes | about a year ago

Microsoft 2

theodp (442580) 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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2 comments

Non-obvious? (2)

briancox2 (2417470) | about a year ago | (#42376567)

Any one who has ever engaged in phone sex knows that this patent is obvious and has been considered and dreamed about for ages.

Very old (1)

symbolset (646467) | about a year and a half ago | (#42379185)

It's even got a technical term: teledildonics [wikipedia.org] . It coined in 1975 by Ted Nelson - a thought leader in social aspects of networking who also invented such terms as "hypertext" and "hypermedia". The Microsoft patent is probably some PG rated evolution of this well-worn path. Teledildonics includes all forms of touch-sense interaction over distance by technical means, both uni- and bi-directional, including any human sensory surface sensitive to touch.

As such, the Microsoft innovation is probably limiting the experience in some way so as to give it a more socially acceptable name.

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