You can't argue that Microsoft
This story is just begging for lots of jokes and jabs. Microsoft's well-known monopolistic tendencies probably don't make this sound too appealing, when it comes to plugging yourself into devices using Microsoft technology. What about those Windows security holes -- you might wonder exactly what type of viruses you'd be exposed to. Here's a possible bumper sticker: Keep your code off our bodies! Then, of course, there's the old "Resistance is futile" joke, referring to Star Trek's Borg.
OK, back to the serious stuff. It's no surprise that Microsoft would want to expand its product line to wearable technology, and it's pretty well known that the company has been wanting to go there. The idea of using the body as a conductor is also not a new one.
In today's patent filing, Microsoft pointed to devices that are already "wearable" -- PDAs, cell phones, pagers, and so forth. Taking these into consideration, of course, there's a future for such portable technology that incorporates greater and less intrusive ease of use. That may not sound so futuristic at all, but then the filing goes on to say that a patch of our own skin could be used as a type of keyboard. That sounds, perhaps, creepier.
However, as much as it might dismay you to contemplate Microsoft getting so intimate, technology is creeping ever closer to getting, well, ever creepier. Take, for example, scientific experimentation into tiny fuel cells that could convert your body's glucose (sugar) into power. According to The New York Times, such sugar-powered fuel cells have been inserted into and powered by grapes. It also gave an example of where the technology could go: plugged into a soldier who could eat an Oreo cookie in order to power up his radio.
Microsoft has taken some heat for not always being at the vanguard of technological movements. Look at its latent interest in search or criticism that it fails to stay ahead of hackers and virus writers. So, maybe we need to give the giant some credit for getting teeth again, trying to move a little bit more swiftly into a cutting-edge market.
So, brace yourself. Soon, you may have more "power" than you ever thought possible.
Is Microsoft's patent brilliant... or creepy? Would you use such a device? Surely you have an opinion about whether or not Microsoft should use your skin. Get it off your chest on the Microsoft discussion board.
Alyce Lomax does not own shares of Microsoft.