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Managing information flow based on user’s mental state and cognitive load: Key Neurotech Patent #19

control presentation

– Illus­tra­tive image from U.S. Patent No. 6,874,127

This is anoth­er fas­ci­nat­ing 2005 patent assigned to Microsoft, help­ing man­age the pre­sen­ta­tion of infor­ma­tion based on user’s men­tal and phys­i­cal state and cog­ni­tive load (and, yes, desired lev­el of pri­va­cy).

U.S. Patent No. 6,874,127: Method and sys­tem for con­trol­ling pre­sen­ta­tion of infor­ma­tion to a user based on the user’s con­di­tion.

  • Assignee(s): Microsoft Cor­po­ra­tion
  • Inventor(s): Dan Newell, Ken­neth H. Abbott
  • Tech­nol­o­gy Cat­e­go­ry: Hybrid
  • Issue Date: March 29, 2005

SharpBrains’ Take:

The ‘127 patent applies brain tech­nol­o­gy to infor­ma­tion man­age­ment with user mod­els that con­sid­er cog­ni­tive load and men­tal state in order to deter­mine how and what infor­ma­tion is pre­sent­ed to the user. The spec­i­fi­ca­tion dis­clos­es a num­ber of tech­nolo­gies and approach­es for deter­min­ing phys­i­cal and men­tal activ­i­ty of the user, includ­ing EEG, EKG, heart rate and skin gal­vanom­e­try sen­sors. While the spec­i­fi­ca­tion, with nine illus­tra­tion sheets and ten pages of writ­ten mate­r­i­al, may raise ques­tion about the ade­qua­cy of sup­port for the exten­sive claim set, the large num­ber of claims (113), pick­et-fence formed by a num­ber of broad inde­pen­dent claims (12) and sig­nif­i­cant rate of for­ward cita­tions are among the fac­tors mak­ing the ‘127 patent a key non-inva­sive neu­rotech­nol­o­gy patent.


A sys­tem for con­trol­ling pre­sen­ta­tion of infor­ma­tion to a user based on the user’s cur­rent con­di­tion. In par­tic­u­lar, the sys­tem mon­i­tors the user and the user’s envi­ron­ment, and cre­ates and main­tains an updat­ed mod­el of the cur­rent con­di­tion of the user. The user con­di­tion can include a vari­ety of con­di­tion vari­ables, includ­ing abstract con­cepts such as the user’s cur­rent cog­ni­tive load, desired lev­el of pri­va­cy for out­put infor­ma­tion, and desired scope of audi­ence for out­put infor­ma­tion. Upon receiv­ing out­put infor­ma­tion to be pre­sent­ed to the user (e.g., from an appli­ca­tion pro­gram), the sys­tem deter­mines an appro­pri­ate out­put device and an appro­pri­ate for­mat with which to present the infor­ma­tion to the user, and then presents the out­put infor­ma­tion. The sys­tem can also receive descrip­tion infor­ma­tion about the out­put infor­ma­tion that describes rel­e­vant fac­tors for deter­min­ing when and how to present the out­put infor­ma­tion (e.g., the impor­tance and urgency of the out­put infor­ma­tion, the con­se­quences of the user not receiv­ing or ignor­ing the out­put infor­ma­tion, etc.). Some ver­sions of the sys­tem exe­cute on a wear­able com­put­er hav­ing a vari­ety of avail­able out­put dis­play devices.

Illus­tra­tive Claim 83. A method for pre­sent­ing out­put infor­ma­tion to a user of a com­put­er, the com­put­er able to out­put infor­ma­tion to a first dis­play device and a sec­ond dis­play device, the first and sec­ond dis­play devices hav­ing dif­fer­ent dis­play char­ac­ter­is­tics, the method com­pris­ing:

  • select­ing either the first dis­play device or the sec­ond dis­play device based on a pre­dict­ed pref­er­ence of the user, the pre­dict­ed pref­er­ence being a pre­dict­ed men­tal state of the user indi­cat­ing on which of the dis­play devices the user would pre­fer to receive the out­put infor­ma­tion, the select­ing based at least in part on a map­ping between the pre­dict­ed men­tal state and the dis­play devices that indi­cates which of the dis­play devices are suit­able for pre­sent­ing infor­ma­tion in accor­dance with var­i­ous pre­dict­ed men­tal states; and
  • pre­sent­ing the out­put infor­ma­tion on the select­ed dis­play device con­sis­tent­ly with the pre­dict­ed pref­er­ence.

To learn more about mar­ket data, trends and lead­ing com­pa­nies in the dig­i­tal brain health space –dig­i­tal plat­forms for brain/ cog­ni­tive assess­ment, mon­i­tor­ing and enhance­ment– check out this mar­ket report. To learn more about our analy­sis of 10,000+ patent fil­ings, check out this IP & inno­va­tion neu­rotech report.

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