Microsoft appears to be taking a fresh look at the idea of smart glasses. The company has been awarded a U.S. patent for Internet-connected, see-through glasses that would be able to detect and interpret the emotions of people within their field of vision.
The patent for "a wearable emotion detection feedback system," was filed in October 2012, and awarded earlier this week, according to a public filing by the U.S. patent office. But as always, it’s unclear whether Microsoft is serious about any near-term commercial applications.
According to the filing, a wearer can determine who to analyze, whether an individual or a group, without their knowing. Sensors, including depth cameras and a microphone mounted on the nose bridge, pick up visual and audio information from a subject. That’s processed for things like subtle variations in speech rhythm and amplitude, choice of words, type and speed of gestures, eye focus and body posture. All that’s beamed to Microsoft’s databases, and an emotional determination is then relayed back to the wearer through the glasses.