Microsoft Wants to Know How You Feel

January 17, 2008
Bill gates is getting out just in time.
The TimesOnline (UK) is reporting that Microsoft has applied for a patent that might have privacy experts feeling a little nauseated. (Of course the new software would know that.)
The Times refers to the Microsoft software as
…Big Brother-style software capable of remotely monitoring a worker’s productivity, physical wellbeing and competence.
Apparently the patent application describes a system that wirelessly links users to their PCs via sensors that measure their metabolism as well as heart rate, body temperature, movement, facial expression, and blood pressure.
Such technology is already used on firefighters, airline pilots and astronauts.
According to the Times story,
The system could also “automatically detect frustration or stress in the user” and “offer and provide assistance accordingly”. Physical changes to an employee would be matched to an individual psychological profile based on a worker’s weight, age and health. If the system picked up an increase in heart rate or facial expressions suggestive of stress or frustration, it would tell management that he needed help.
So if the software were in use today, it would pick up the increased heart rates of civil liberties lawyers who are furiously drafting all the reasons such software should not be allowed, employers who are giddy at the prospect of monitoring their employees that much more closely, and employees who are sweating the fact that they’ll have to start working harder now. 
Imagine Bill Gates biometric roller-coaster when he's being denied by Bono, Spielberg, Clooney et al...
For more check out the TimesOnline story.

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