back to article Wake up, Neo: Microsoft mulls using your brain waves or body heat to mine crypto-currency while viewing ads

A Microsoft US patent application published last month describes a way to use body activity like brain waves as proof-of-work in a cryptocurrency system. One of the ways the Windows giant's inventors imagine using the technology is to award cryptocurrency when people's brain waves indicate they've viewed an ad. With a …

  1. harmjschoonhoven

    Body heat

    On the internet nobody knows you are a dog.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Body heat

      >On the internet nobody knows you are a dog.

      Neither does an EEG. This could be a lifeline for hill farmers come January, sheep have almost identical traces when viewing photos and videos of humans.

  2. redpawn Silver badge

    A cat and a moving string,

    Body heat and brain activity, proof that the advert is effective. A laser might be better but Microsoft has already patented the Laser-Brainwave Cat Toy (LBCT).

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    No Bitcoin, thank you very much!

    A deposit into my account will do quite nicely.

  4. Chris G Silver badge

    Creepiness factor

    That is comparable with anything Feacebook or Gargle can come up with.

    In the unlikely event that such technology could become real any time soon, there are too many possibilities to abuse it.

    A pity these clever researchers can't put their skills to something more beneficial to mankind than an advertiser's stick and carrot.

    1. LDS Silver badge

      I would like to know which kind of brain waves...

      .... produce such ideas. Then I'd look for a method to neuter them.

      1. IceC0ld

        Re: I would like to know which kind of brain waves...

        might I suggest the tried and tested tinfoil titfer** :o)

        ** Titfer = tit for tat / hat - for those not blessed with UK knowledge of rubbish info

    2. Grikath

      Re: Creepiness factor

      In a sense, the technology is already here...

      Any of the methods of measurement mentioned in the article , including the brainwaves, are established, if sometimes experimental, technology and have been demonstrated to work. Quite a lot of them actually are used in practical applications and research aimed at the Betterment of Mankind ( and as always, military applications..) . The aim there is usually control/interface, but something has to be measured to be used as an input...

      Allowing for maturing of currently experimental/developing control tech, which we will see if this whole AR/VR thing really does become practical one day, and before that in gaming consoles ( of which quite a bit is there already..) it's simply like tracking the mouse cursor and registering clicks. The same kind of data.. Has a very legitimate purpose for the system, can very much be abused...

      Which is why I wondered why they'd bother to patent this at all.. Until I realised we're dealing with the USPTO here.. The one allowing for Rounded Corners, and the addition of "on a mobile device" to well-established tech, and....

  5. Rol Silver badge

    The patent might not be granted?

    So if they aren't applying to the American patent office, where then?

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I can see a bright future here

    particularly for those in prison for hideous crimes against the State. No more rock-cracking on the roadside. I'm sure the (US) prez will find this idea attractive and requiring further attention...

  7. adnim

    what's an ad?

    see above.

    If you are seeing advertisements, you are using the internet wrong.

  8. Wellyboot Silver badge

    fMRI are quite big at the moment

    Do they really think one can be made to fit into anything Joe Punters going to buy?

    If so, they should give theoretical physicists their research and get to work on anti gravity & a functioning warp drive because they've obviously got electro-magnetism licked!


  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    MS Mining our body heat?

    If you pay me 100* the cost of Elecricity used in advance.

    Otherwise they can take a running jump into a Volcano.

    MS are getting really desparate for ideas these days. Strange that it usually revolves around slurping our lives or body heat or EEG data.

    I am so gland that I stopped paying them any money in 2012.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: MS Mining our body heat?

      Worse. It only moves the chain of security from a app that fakes clicks, to an app that fakes mouse movement/people to a call center set up with lots of min wage slaves clicking things. :(

      It's not a real, or even useful, solution.

    2. Wade Burchette Silver badge

      Re: MS Mining our body heat?

      Almost all of Microsoft's best ideas have always been someone else's ideas first. MS-DOS was not a Microsoft invention; the GUI was not a Microsoft invention; the word processor was not a Microsoft invention; the internet search engine was not a Microsoft idea. When Microsoft invents things, we get ideas like the ribbon -- something that is now everywhere when it should be nowhere. I would say the best thing Microsoft invented was the start menu, and even then the ignoramuses couldn't leave well enough alone and thus ruined something that was as close to perfect as you can humanely get in Windows 7.

  10. Version 1.0 Silver badge

    What's the next patent application?

    File a patent to feed people beans and then reclaim the methane to generate "green" energy for the national grid? Beer might work too.

  11. Updraft102

    One of the ways the Windows giant's inventors imagine using the technology is to award cryptocurrency when people's brain waves indicate they've viewed an ad.

    Surely there are simpler methods of detecting anger than this. If humans can do it visually without even thinking about it without looking at electroencephalograms, is it really that hard? Getting people to wear electrodes on their scalp has got to be harder than using the webcam to detect angry expressions on the victim's face.

  12. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    Sure, hook me up !

    I can't wait for the treadmill that will accompany this "innovation". Can I have the deluxe version with the food drip, please ?

    The person who succeeds in getting my brainwaves for ad viewing is not born yet, I can guarantee that.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Not a blockchain

    As TheReg notes: "There are no miners competing to generate the next part of the blockchain in this scenario".

    So even though the patent uses the word "blockchain" this is not useful as proof-of-anything in the context of a blockchain.

    I call BS.

  14. TeeCee Gold badge

    Next week:

    How installing three brains and wearing an icepack on your head can make you a Twatcoin billionaire.

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2021