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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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As seen in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, BBC News, CNN, Reuters,  SharpBrains is an independent market research firm tracking how brain science can improve our health and our lives.

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