Microsoft wants to know where your hands are at all times, and has filed a patent to do so. A new patent filed by the Redmond based company depicts a device that is able to sense a person’s grip on the border of a tablet. The patent itself shows “Skin Sensors” embedded around the entire screen border and filed under what Microsoft is calling “Touch-Aware Skin”.
The patent itself, which was filed back in May of this year, provides an abstract description of what purpose it might serve:
"Grip-based device adaptations are described in which a touch-aware skin of a device is employed to adapt device behavior in various ways. The touch-aware skin may include a plurality of sensors from which a device may obtain input and decode the input to determine grip characteristics indicative of a user's grip. On-screen keyboards and other input elements may then be configured and located in a user interface according to a determined grip…"
Adding a touch aware border to the device would allow software to reconfigure itself based on how you are handling the device. In addition, we could predict the technology being used to help prevent accidental touch by detecting where a hand may be lying.
Patents are filed with the United States Patent Office all the time, and many of them are simply concept ideas and sketches. As we have learned with recent patent wars between Samsung and Apple – patents are becoming everything, and the more you have – the better protected you are.
If Microsoft was to add the technology to their current Surface tablets, we could imagine an endless number of possibilities for its use. Imagine using the tablet to check your mail via the Outlook Windows application and the buttons rearranging themselves to move closer to where your hands are placed. These Skin Sensors would allow a device that can see another bit more around itself and understand how you are utilizing the device.
What do you think about Microsoft’s “Touch-Aware Skin” patent?