On Thursday, the US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Microsoft that reveals a new method of automatically pairing an input device to a user. The system will work with any kind of computer, smartphone or game controller within a given zone or "observed scene." The method further includes detecting one or more users within the observed scene using Microsoft's Kinect motion sensing system. Adding a device like a wand, tablet or secondary gaming controller could work automatically and in real-time, bypassing any sign-in or login process.
Microsoft patent filing specifically states that "by pairing an input device to a user based on a position of the input device and a position of the user, the user can be automatically paired to the input device. In this way, the user can avoid having to log into a user account or having to perform other manual inputs to pair a device."
Further, by automatically pairing the device to the user in this way, the user may pick up a new device, switch devices with another user, use more than one device, etc. and the one or more devices may be paired to the user automatically in real-time.
As such, the gaming experience may be enhanced. For example, the user may interact with a wand input device to cast a spell in a game as shown in patent FIG. 1 below and the user may switch to interact with the controller to throw a punch or another physical attack. As such, the gaming experience may be enhanced by allowing the user to interact with different input devices which may allow different gaming controls, while switching the pairing of the user between the different input devices automatically. The devices are automatically unpaired when a game session has ended.
By using the Kinect motion sensor, Microsoft notes that a user may be identified by a physical attribute unique to a user by employing three-dimensional imaging, facial recognition, biometrics, or another user identifying technology. Further, in some embodiments, the mere presence of a user may be detected without determining an identity of the user.
In Microsoft's patent FIG. 5 below we see a schematic of a non-limiting computing system that may perform one or more of the described methods and processes. It is to be understood that virtually any computer architecture may be used without departing from the scope of this disclosure. In different embodiments, the computing system may take the form of a mainframe computer, server computer, desktop computer, laptop computer, tablet computer, home entertainment computer, network computing device, mobile computing device, mobile communication device, gaming device, etc.
Microsoft originally filed their patent application under serial number 330528 back in Q4 2011. USPTO published it yesterday. Considering that this is a patent application, the timing of such a product to market is unknown at this time.
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