Microsoft Patents GPS with Crime-Stats

Mike Krumboltz


GPS devices have come a long way. They speak with different accents, tell you where the nearest coffee shop is, and even warn you when your commute is bogged down with traffic.    

Now, Microsoft has been awarded a patent for a new GPS feature that helps the user avoid dangerous neighborhoods.An article from CBS Seattle explains that the technology uses “the latest crime statistics” when it's mapping a route for the user. According to the patent documents, the idea is intended mainly for pedestrians, likely because people on foot are more likely to be accosted.




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The abstract reads: “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. 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.”

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 There is a chance that some residents may object to Microsoft labeling their neighborhoods as dangerous or unsafe. However, Fox Seattle writes, “The patent will give users the option to alter their route and classifications of different areas based on their personal knowledge of its safety.”



As mentioned in the patent, the technology also plans to use updating weather statistics to help pedestrians avoid spots that may be dangerously hot, cold, you name it.