Microsoft Patents Borg Technology
Researchers at Microsoft have devised a technique to assimilate the human body as a conduit for consumer electronics. How did Microsoft accomplish this feat? Electrodes attached to body use the skin as a system bus to transmit data and as a conductive medium to distribute power between devices. Microsoft's desired effect is to cut back on the I/O redundancy that results from when multiple devices attempt to communicate.
A glimpse of the exact technique used by Microsoft is outlined in United States patent number 6,754,472 and was awarded to Microsoft and its associates this past Tuesday.
"By exchanging data, e.g., as part of a network, a single data input or output device can be used by multiple portable devices, eliminating the need for each of the portable devices to have the same input/output device," the patent reads.
A Microsoft spokesperson told BetaNews that the patent does map to any products that are out now and that there are no specific plans to use the technology; although, the patent brief was filed nearly four years ago.
"When referring to Microsoft's market success, I've heard some folks use the 'resistance is futile' phrase, referring to Star Trek aliens, the Borg. One way to look at the patent is cybernetics. After all, the body is electrical," said Joe Wilcox, a senior analyst with Jupiter Research.
The researchers who invented the technology behind patent are: Lyndsay Williams of Cambridge, GB; William Vablais of Woodinville, WA; and Steven N. Bathiche of Bellevue, WA.