Microsoft issued patent that keeps you out of the ghetto

We all know that feeling: You are lost, you punch in the destination, and all of the sudden you are driving in a less than pleasurable part of town. While we have all joked about an option to avoid driving/walking in the slums, Microsoft has gone ahead and received a patent for such a feature, according to the US Patent Office, via CBS Seattle

That patent was filed back in December of 2007 and was recently issued on January 3, 2012. The abstract for the patent is posted below:

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.

The idea is simple enough and relatively harmless, but it is a feature that many have semi-jokingly asked for. The patent is based around safety for an individual for various conditions, but do include, unsafe neighborhoods.

While the idea has always been a joke, it looks like Microsoft took the opportunity to patent the idea and can now add it to its massive filing cabinet with its other IP.

Thanks for the tip calimike

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33 Comments

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dare I say it, the only people who need such an app are don't live in the Ghetto. Funny how the most prejudice people on the planet are worried about going into a low income neighborhood.

Maybe if you weren't so greedy, there wouldn't be any low income hoods in the first place.
Maybe you should drive through the trouble you all cause. get some sense of what real life is like and not your rich fantasy lifestyle.

I wonder how this works if your home or the business you're heading too happens to be in the "unsafe neighborhood". I go to the University of Houston, and walk outside the campus, it's practically a 'ghetto'. Which is a shame for a good university.

carson2255 said,
As a wise man once said.... "Guns dont kill people.... dangerous minorities do...."

So what do you call cops who kill people for no reason?

Next thing-- someone hacks into the servers and well ... Beverly Hills is now a Ghetto and now all roads lead to Folsom Prison. The true question remains as to what would classify as a Ghetto.

Listing Ghettos will have issues as it will drive people away from these areas causing less successful businesses and poorer and poorer an economic position for the area.

If I owned property or a business in an area listed I would sue Microsoft for any financial losses caused. Maybe even the Governing body could sue on behalf of the residents.

There is just no way a company can go around proclaiming which streets it is or isn't safe to walk down.

bits said,
Listing Ghettos will have issues as it will drive people away from these areas causing less successful businesses and poorer and poorer an economic position for the area.

If I owned property or a business in an area listed I would sue Microsoft for any financial losses caused. Maybe even the Governing body could sue on behalf of the residents.

There is just no way a company can go around proclaiming which streets it is or isn't safe to walk down.

If that will happen another group of people that was routed through ghetto that was attacked or harassed will sue Microsoft for that.

Anyway ghetto residents should fix their shty neighborhoods by themselves or vote for those who will fix it. It is THEIR land and it's THEIR business.

bits said,
Listing Ghettos will have issues as it will drive people away from these areas causing less successful businesses and poorer and poorer an economic position for the area.

If I owned property or a business in an area listed I would sue Microsoft for any financial losses caused. Maybe even the Governing body could sue on behalf of the residents.

There is just no way a company can go around proclaiming which streets it is or isn't safe to walk down.

They may just do it by crime statistics, a company can go around proclaiming which streets are safe to walk down statistically.

alpha2beta said,
Great, now people are going to say Microsoft is racist about this.

Barack Obama disapproves your comment I reckon.

Using the word "Ghetto" is about as inflammatory a word to try to cause controversy as you can get. Ghetto is "a section of a city, especially a thickly populated slum area, inhabited predominantly by members of an ethnic or other minority group, often as a result of social or economic restrictions, pressures, or hardships." The word was originally applied to a place where Jews were confined because people the non-Jews did not want to have contact with them.

So let's make Microsoft sound like racists, that they want to help keep the white person out of the slums and away from those who may not be like them. Or are you implying that Microsoft is anti-Semitic? Very disturbing that CBS would report it this way, and Neowin would propagate the attack.

nohone said,
Using the word "Ghetto" is about as inflammatory a word to try to cause controversy as you can get. Ghetto is "a section of a city, especially a thickly populated slum area, inhabited predominantly by members of an ethnic or other minority group, often as a result of social or economic restrictions, pressures, or hardships." The word was originally applied to a place where Jews were confined because people the non-Jews did not want to have contact with them.

So let's make Microsoft sound like racists, that they want to help keep the white person out of the slums and away from those who may not be like them. Or are you implying that Microsoft is anti-Semitic? Very disturbing that CBS would report it this way, and Neowin would propagate the attack.

Ummm....I don't know if you heard, but there are white ghettos too.

nohone said,
Using the word "Ghetto" is about as inflammatory a word to try to cause controversy as you can get. Ghetto is "a section of a city, especially a thickly populated slum area, inhabited predominantly by members of an ethnic or other minority group, often as a result of social or economic restrictions, pressures, or hardships." The word was originally applied to a place where Jews were confined because people the non-Jews did not want to have contact with them.

So let's make Microsoft sound like racists, that they want to help keep the white person out of the slums and away from those who may not be like them. Or are you implying that Microsoft is anti-Semitic? Very disturbing that CBS would report it this way, and Neowin would propagate the attack.


People need to stop being so P.C.. Everyone uses the word "ghetto" to describe a poor (usually urban) area in which crime is usually high and it's a place you want to avoid being alone, especially at night. The use of the word "ghetto" in this context is correct, but CBS/Neowin shouldn't make it seem like Microsoft called it that feature if they really didn't.

briangw said,

Ummm....I don't know if you heard, but there are white ghettos too.

they're called "Trailer Parks", not ghettos

Trueblue711 said,

People need to stop being so P.C.. Everyone uses the word "ghetto" to describe a poor (usually urban) area in which crime is usually high and it's a place you want to avoid being alone, especially at night. The use of the word "ghetto" in this context is correct, but CBS/Neowin shouldn't make it seem like Microsoft called it that feature if they really didn't.

Read some of my other posts and you will see I am the least P.C. person around. But this just seems like a slimy attack, trying to attach the racist label to Microsoft.

nohone said,
Using the word "Ghetto" is about as inflammatory a word to try to cause controversy as you can get. Ghetto is "a section of a city, especially a thickly populated slum area, inhabited predominantly by members of an ethnic or other minority group, often as a result of social or economic restrictions, pressures, or hardships." The word was originally applied to a place where Jews were confined because people the non-Jews did not want to have contact with them.

So let's make Microsoft sound like racists, that they want to help keep the white person out of the slums and away from those who may not be like them. Or are you implying that Microsoft is anti-Semitic? Very disturbing that CBS would report it this way, and Neowin would propagate the attack.

lol

nohone said,
Read some of my other posts and you will see I am the least P.C. person around. But this just seems like a slimy attack, trying to attach the racist label to Microsoft.

I dunno, I can see where you're coming from, but I didn't really read it that way.

Either way, I don't think it really matters, or was intentional. Should probably just chill about it.

Ghetto is one of those reclaimed words, originally just slang for borghetto (small part of a town), eventually applied derogatorily to where Jews tended to cluster, but by now it's used even by people who live in them. Nobody feels insulted by being told they live in a ghetto; they know they do. They usually want to get out, which is why even members of a ghetto make fun of the ghetto.

They're made fun of not for being associated with race so much as being at rock bottom.

Then there are words like "the projects"...

nohone said,
Using the word "Ghetto" is about as inflammatory a word to try to cause controversy as you can get. Ghetto is "a section of a city, especially a thickly populated slum area, inhabited predominantly by members of an ethnic or other minority group, often as a result of social or economic restrictions, pressures, or hardships." The word was originally applied to a place where Jews were confined because people the non-Jews did not want to have contact with them.

So let's make Microsoft sound like racists, that they want to help keep the white person out of the slums and away from those who may not be like them. Or are you implying that Microsoft is anti-Semitic? Very disturbing that CBS would report it this way, and Neowin would propagate the attack.

Well, around the south end of Columbus OH, where I live, for years now we've called the police choppers that regularly fly low with searchlights blazing at night "ghetto birds". And for the record, we have a fair mix of people here; white, black, Latino, etc., but primarily white.

But thanks to idiots Downtown mismanaging the area and the jobs steadily leaving it's become a place no one wants to come in, even during the day.

If MS ever actually acted on the patent, we'd probably NEVER have company ^_^.

briangw said,

Ummm....I don't know if you heard, but there are white ghettos too.


Yes, All races have ghettos, but White people don't think they do though. That's the problem. They associate ghetto with only black people. All one has to do is drive away from any major city and pass by a trailer park and see a bunch of there own suffering like everyone else.

TechieXP said,

Yes, All races have ghettos, but White people don't think they do though. That's the problem. They associate ghetto with only black people. All one has to do is drive away from any major city and pass by a trailer park and see a bunch of there own suffering like everyone else.

That's quite a generalization. Plenty of white people are aware of the actual make-up of those neighborhoods. It's incredibly unfair to just assume that all white people live in some blissful fantasy land.

If there's any difference in how white people think of it, it's that we generally associate poverty with trailer trash and country hicks, neither of which are decidedly 'urban'--a defining feature of ghetto neighborhoods.

SirEvan said,

they're called "Trailer Parks", not ghettos

Yeah, now how often does your GPS give you directions that take you through a trailer park? It seems a bit out of the way don't you think?

OMG I seriously have been dreaming of such a feature for YEARS. I also wanted it to automatically lock the doors on my car, but this is great!

Enron said,
OMG I seriously have been dreaming of such a feature for YEARS. I also wanted it to automatically lock the doors on my car, but this is great!

ROFL! I've wanted this too.