Microsoft Develops Technology to Hug People over the Internet

The company is working on a new system that could completely change online video chatting

By Bogdan Popa on December 27th, 2012 09:07 GMT

There are many ways to get in touch with someone living in another country and people’s need to talk to those living far away is definitely one of the reasons why services such as Facebook and instant messaging are so popular these days.

But Microsoft is working on a technology that could completely change the way you’re interacting with someone over the Internet.

Geekwire.com writes that Microsoft has been awarded a patent for a technology called “Force-feedback with telepresence,” which is actually a system that would allow users to virtually hug someone over the Internet.

Of course, such a technology would not be restricted to hugs, so hand-shakes, grabbing documents, writing on a whiteboard and other similar activities would also be possible.

Here’s how the Redmond-based software giant describes the device in the abstract section of the patent:

“The claimed subject matter provides a system and/or a method that facilitates replicating a telepresence session with a real world physical meeting. A telepresence session can be initiated within a communication framework that includes two or more virtually represented users that communicate therein.

A trigger component can monitor the telepresence session in real time to identify a participant interaction with an object, wherein the object is at least one of a real world physical object or a virtually represented object within the telepresence session.

A feedback component can implement a force feedback to at least one participant within the telepresence session based upon the identified participant interaction with the object, wherein the force feedback is employed via a device associated with at least one participant.”

Wondering how Microsoft could implement such a technology into its services? Take Skype for example.

Imagine you’re video-chatting with your significant other via Skype and you wish to hug him/her. Or maybe you’re making a deal through the same VoIP and you wish to shake hands in sign of appreciation.

Such a feature would completely change the face of online video-chatting and would turn Skype into a revolutionary product, even though similar projects have been started in the past.

And although virtual touching could also support the online adult industry, Microsoft doesn’t say anything about this. Not for now, at least.
The technology would allow a wide variety of gestures to be performed online
   The technology would allow a wide variety of gestures to be performed online
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