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Microsoft Gains Patent for Technology to Help Walkers Avoid Unsafe Neighborhoods

"As a pedestrian travels, various difficulties can be encountered..."

Maps on Bing or other Microsoft applications could soon be directing walkers toward the safest walking routes.

GeekWire reports that Microsoft was awarded a patent this week for technology that takes into account "factors that specifically affect a pedestrian."

The patent states:

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 disclosed innovation produces routes that are intended to be taken by a pedestrian. A gather component obtains information related to intended pedestrian travel and a generation component produces a route based upon at least part of the obtained information. Commonly, the pedestrian route is produced based off security information, weather information, terrain information, or a combination thereof. Various features can integrate with route presentment, such as integrating an advertisement targeted to a pedestrian with a direction set.

Microsoft applied for the patent in 2007 and released its Bing Maps walking directions 2010. GeekWire reports that it doesn't appear to have included crime factors in its walking directions yet. SlashGear theorizes that this could be because Microsoft may not want to appear labeling certain areas as subject to high crime levels.

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