Microsoft has reportedly filed a patent for an audio filter that will detect abusive language used by gamers over Xbox Live in real time and scramble it before anyone hears it.

Xbox Live has always been known for the foul language used by gamers on it, which often have racial or homophobic undertones.

Apparently, the US Patent 7,437,290 describes a software filter that recognises key words through the comparisons of phonemes and renders them “unintelligible or inaudible” before they are transmitted in-game. Clever stuff.

The patent states: "Either other participants in the online game or spectators who are observing and/or listening to the participants' interaction should not be exposed to such undesired language."

It also goes on to suggest that the technology could be used in other similar situations, including live radio and TV broadcasts.

It seems that soon, Xbox Live will be an all-in-all nicer place to spend some time. How lovely.