Windows Phones May Tell You Safe Walking Routes To Your Destinations In The Future

Microsoft’s Windows Phones may soon be recommending better walking routes to your destinations in the future if a recent patent granted to Microsoft is an indication.

Last Tuesday, Microsoft was granted a patent for “pedestrian route production”. The granting of the patent was discovered by GeekWire. The patent can be viewed straight from the United States Patent and Trademark Office here.

The tech world is currently buzzing about the new patent granted to Microsoft and how it can be integrated by Microsoft to its Bing Maps. Nonetheless, I see here a possibility that Microsoft can incorporate this to the Windows Phone platform in the future as a standard feature.

This actually makes sense to be a feature for Windows Phone as you actually do not carry a full-sized personal computer or even a laptop when you are walking. You might carry a tablet computer when walking but it makes much more sense that you have that little computer you can clutch with your hands (your smartphone) when you are on your way home or are walking to some other place.

The patent which was filed in 2007 covers technology which can produce walking routes for pedestrian’s using the surroundings, the time of day, preferences and schedules at any certain situation.

Nonetheless, the patent describes a system which can route pedestrians away from areas which are unsafe. These places are, for example, areas in neighborhoods which have a certain level of crime rate.

It can also plot routes to avoid any harsh weather.

“As a pedestrian travels, various difficulties can be encountered, such as traveling through an unsafe neighborhood or being in an open area that is subject to harsh temperatures,” the patent reveals.

“A route can be developed for a person taking into account factors that specifically affect a pedestrian. Moreover, the route can alter as a situation of a user changes; for instance, if a user wants to add a stop along a route.”

The system can also take into account user behavior such as tolerance to neighborhoods with high crime rates as well as available paths when plotting a route.

The system can “construct a direction set that allows the user to take paths that take him to his home in a quickest amount of time while keeping the user relatively safe (e.g., taking the user through neighborhoods with violent crime statistics below a certain threshold),” the patent says.

Do you think this will be a handy feature for Windows Phones in the future? Tell us what you think via the comments.

Image from Leo Reynolds On Flickr (CC)


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