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Microsoft applies for user-monitoring system patent

Ian Grant

Microsoft has applied for a patent that will enable personal computers to monitor user behaviour.

All of the technology in Microsoft's application for a system to monitor group activities already exists. Microsoft appears to be packaging it, adding a management and control system, and extending it to include cell phones, pocket PC phones, PDAs, and compact handheld PCs.

Microsoft's patent application aims "to facilitate managing and optimising the utilisation of various system resources". It will be able to capture work-related activity such as keystrokes, information searches and activity likely to breach legal and company regulations.

But it also wants to use wireless infra-red sensors to monitor changes in workers' heart rates, blood pressure, galvanic responses, body temperature and facial expressions. These changes are the basis of polygraph or lie detector tests.

Next, it wants to match these physical changes to psychological profiles such as those from aMyers-Briggs exercise. This could tell if you are stressed or frustrated.





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