from the schoolhouse-rock-prior-art dept.
theodp writes "Seems like those old IBM flaming logo commercials (video) should count as prior art, but the USPTO granted Microsoft a patent Tuesday for inventing Fonts With Feelings. Giving font characters sound, motion, and altered appearance, Microsoft asserts, gives a user 'the impression the fonts have personalities,' thereby enhancing the user's understanding and/or fluency of words. From the patent: 'As a few non-limiting examples, the word 'giant' can get very large; the word 'lion' can morph into a line drawing of a lion; the word 'toss' can morph into a hand that animates a ball toss; the word 'bees' could show bees flying around with or without a 'buzz' sound effect'. If you're curious, Microsoft Research offers some explanations and examples of 'fontlings' in action — don't miss 'f' kicks 'a'!"
"Card readers? We don't need no stinking card readers."
-- Peter da Silva (at the National Academy of Sciencies, 1965, in a
particularly vivid fantasy)