Microsoft just received a patent from the United States Patent and Trademark Office for a special pair of glasses that can read emotions. The patent is for a device designed to recognize the wearer’s emotional state. If the wearer is watching television and their posture changes or a smile forms on their face, the glasses will read the emotions.

Microsoft Acquires Patent For Emotion-Detecting Glasses

A closer look at Microsoft’s special glasses patent

The patent describes how the device will recognize emotional states by comparing detected sensor input against the database of human/primate gestures. After interpretation of sensor input, feedback is then provided to the wearer. After the database determines the person’s emotional state, various forms of content can be pushed into view.

The glasses can also work  the other way. When the wearer looks at another person with the glasses, the emotional state of that person is also picked up by the glasses. The patent description further claims it is easy to look at people through the glasses without their knowledge. There was no mention of potential uses; however, the glasses could be of great use in certain scenarios. It could be a great for businesses when interviewing candidates or border guards when questioning people who travel.

More from the patent filing

The glasses patent would work by utilizing a camera to pick up visual clues and a nose-bridge mounted microphone to pick up audio. The microphone would work by picking up subtle variations of the person’s demeanor like speech rhythm, body posture and gesture speed. All of that would then be analyzed to draw conclusions on a person’s emotional state.

According to the filing, context is equally important. If a subject plays with her hair during a date, the behavior could be indicative of interest. If a subject plays with their hair during a job interview, it could be a sign of boredom.

Microsoft’s patent filing does not necessarily mean the company has definite plans to create such a product. The company often files for patents as part of generl business practice, and often these patents never become a marketed product.