Posted by Bob on 12/12/2013 to Wireless
Tired of having to press all those buttons around the home and fiddling with the remote control?
Now Microsoft is planning to allow you to control everything in your home simply with a few waves of your arm.
A patent application by the software company shows that it wants to use the human body as a way of transmitting and receiving information. Essentially, it intends to turn the human body into a giant antenna.
Microsoft proposes using a device that can measure the amount of ambient electromagnetic radiation being absorbed by the human body at any time.
In the modern world we are surrounded by electromagnetic noise. Every electrical device produces electromagnetic radiation to some degree.
For most electronic goods, this it troublesome and creates interference that can harm your Wi-Fi and phone signals. However, Microsoft wants to harness it.
By looking for changes in the amount of electromagnetic radiation absorbed by the human body, it believes it can interpret where in the home someone might be, what appliances they are standing near, and what gestures they make.
The patent uses the example of turning up the thermostat: the user would draw a line in the air upwards beside a wall with their finger in the right part of the house. As they did so, the users arm would detect the changes in electromagnetic noise and transmit it to a computer or smart phone, which would send a command to the central heating system to turn up the temperature.
They say the system could be taught different commands, so that, for example, raising an arm in the air would turn on a light.
Microsoft claims the system could open up a whole new way of interacting with computers. They even propose allowing people to turn their walls into giant canvases where their brush strokes will be detected and their artworks then projected onto a blank wall.