theodp writes "On New Year's Eve, the USPTO revealed that Microsoft is seeking patents for controlling a computer by simply flexing a muscle. Microsoft proposes using Electromyography (EMG) sensors and a wired or wireless human-computer interface to interact with computing systems and attached devices via electrical signals generated by specific movement of the user's muscles. 'It is important to consider mechanisms for acquiring human input that may not necessarily require direct manipulation of a physical implement,' explained the inventors. 'For example, drivers attempting to query their vehicle navigation systems may find it advantageous to be able to do so without removing their hands from the steering wheel, and a person in a meeting may want to unobtrusively communicate with someone outside. Also, since physical computer input devices have been shown to be prone to collecting microbial contamination in sterile environments, techniques that alleviate the need for these implements could be useful in surgical and clean room settings.'"
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