Curated by: Luigi Canali De Rossi

Tuesday, July 6, 2004

Microsoft Patents The Human Body As A Network Bus

It really sounds like an April Fool's Day joke, but it is really not. Microsoft, that imperialist of the information-technology world, has actually succeeded in patenting the human body as a computer network. US Patent 6,754,472, issued to the company on June 22nd, is for a "method and apparatus for transmitting power and data using the human body". Microsoft suggests using the body to generate power for the network, too. A "kinetic power converter" in the wearer's shoe or wristwatch would produce electricity in the same way that an old-fashioned self-winding watch extracted energy from its owner's normal movements. The patent points out that networked portable devices which employ infra-red or radio-frequency communication have limitations. Radio devices use a lot of power, and are prone to interference from others operating on similar frequencies. There are also fears that people might be able to hack into them or, at the least, listen in." And Microsoft does not seem to be wanting to stop at human bodies. Animals are fine too.



The Economist -
Reference: [via Grillo Parlante] [ Read more ]
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posted by Robin Good on Tuesday, July 6 2004, updated on Tuesday, May 5 2015

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