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Tailoring computing experience based on user’s mental state and quality of attention: Key neurotechnology patent #30

Automated selection

– Illus­tra­tive image from U.S. Patent No. 7,395,507

Today we high­light a fas­ci­nat­ing 2008 patent assigned to Microsoft, dis­cussing assess­ment tech­niques such as pupil track­ing or head ori­en­ta­tion sen­sors to iden­ti­fy where and what the user is focused on–and what types of  infor­ma­tion and/ or noti­fi­ca­tions to dis­play accord­ing­ly.

U.S. Patent No. 7,395,507: Auto­mat­ed selec­tion of appro­pri­ate infor­ma­tion based on a com­put­er user’s con­text.

  • Assignee(s): Microsoft Cor­po­ra­tion
  • Inventor(s): James O. Robarts, Dan Newell, Ken­neth H. Abbott
  • Tech­nol­o­gy Cat­e­go­ry: Neu­ro-mon­i­tor­ing
  • Issue Date: July 1, 2008

SharpBrains’ Take:

The ‘507 patent dis­clos­es meth­ods for assess­ing a user’s men­tal state and more broad­ly the user’s con­text, to dis­cern whether or not to present the users with a mes­sage (e.g., an adver­tise­ment). The spec­i­fi­ca­tion describes tech­niques for assess­ing men­tal states such as a user’s like­ly inten­tions, pref­er­ences and level/ qual­i­ty of atten­tion. These assess­ment tech­niques include pupil track­ing sen­sors or head ori­en­ta­tion sen­sors to iden­ti­fy where and what the user is focused on. Con­sid­er­ing the user con­text (i.e., the men­tal state), the sys­tem will (or will not) present the adver­tise­ment. Hence, the ‘507 patent is more of a snap­shot of the user’s cur­rent men­tal state for infor­ma­tion man­age­ment rather than a diag­nos­tic assess­ment of longer-term neu­ro­log­i­cal or psy­cho­log­i­cal state char­ac­ter­iz­ing oth­er brain health assess­ment patents. The near­ly 100 for­ward cita­tions and broad­ly claimed inven­tive con­cept are among the fac­tors mak­ing the ‘507 patent a key non-inva­sive neu­rotech­nol­o­gy patent.


A sys­tem fil­ters received mes­sages (e.g., unso­licit­ed adver­tise­ments) to deter­mine if they are appro­pri­ate for a user based on the non-sta­t­ic, con­stant­ly evolv­ing, con­text of the user. The sys­tem can track the user’s con­text by mon­i­tor­ing var­i­ous envi­ron­men­tal para­me­ters, such as relat­ed to the user’s phys­i­cal, men­tal, com­put­ing and data envi­ron­ments, and can mod­el the cur­rent con­text of the user based at least in part on the mon­i­tor­ing. The sys­tem selects a set of one or more fil­ters to apply to incom­ing mes­sages based on the user’s con­text, and the select­ed fil­ters can be updat­ed as the user’s con­text changes. Mes­sages that sur­vive the fil­ters are then eval­u­at­ed against the user’s con­text to deter­mine whether they should be pre­sent­ed imme­di­ate­ly or stored for delayed pre­sen­ta­tion.

Illus­tra­tive Claim 19. One or more com­put­er-read­able media stor­ing com­put­er-exe­cutable instruc­tions that, when exe­cut­ed, direct a com­put­er to:

  • ascer­tain a user’s con­text from data rep­re­sen­ta­tive of var­i­ous con­di­tions of the user’s envi­ron­ment;
  • select a sub­set of a set of mul­ti­ple fil­ters based on the user’s cur­rent con­text, the fil­ters spec­i­fy­ing inter-fil­ter infor­ma­tion that facil­i­tates deter­min­ing a com­pat­i­bil­i­ty between two or more fil­ters; and
  • fil­ter unso­licit­ed mes­sages based at least on the user’s con­text and a com­pos­ite of the select­ed sub­set of mul­ti­ple fil­ters.

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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