Saturday, 31 December 2016 14:28

Microsoft invents ‘Hololens’ glasses that can find missing items and remind you to buy milk when the fridge is empty


VIRTUAL and augmented reality headsets will soon be as thin as your everyday spectacles.

And when that day comes, Microsoft is primed to end that loathsome human trait — forgetfulness.

Several years ago it patented the marvellous tech for “object tracking” in which virtual reality-style glasses can record and analyse their environment.

The tech firm seems certain of a dystopian future where we all wear headsets day-to-day, as the software works by keeping track of all the objects in the wearer’s surroundings.

These newfangled glasses — which may be later generations of the Hololens — could soon be saving time spent blindly searching for our keys, debit cards or phones.

Lost your wallet? Ask Microsoft’s voice assistant Cortana.

Not sure if there’s milk in the fridge? Ask Cortana to bring up the recording from the last time you opened it.

The tech company wrote in its patent application: “For example, searching for misplaced car keys, wallets, mobile devices, and the like may cause people to lose productive time.

Your glasses will be able to find all the items you need.

“Likewise, forgetting that the milk carton in the home refrigerator is almost empty may lead to an extra trip to the store that could have been avoided had the shopper remembered the state of the milk carton.

“In some instances, such objects may be moved, emptied, etc. by a person other than the owner, thereby complicating the task of tracking.”

It revealed plans for a mobile device like a “see-through display worn by a user” with image sensors that observe the environment.

This opens a whole host of privacy concerns, but could prove to be a very useful tool.

Microsoft will store video recordings of your home and will use an alert system triggered by a request or alarm you set.

It could be used by more than one person — so if you share a household with someone they will also be made aware that you are shopping or search their video recording to see where a missing item could be.

Microsoft added: “In this manner, a user may be able to discover a most recent location of lost keys, may be provided with a reminder to buy more milk while browsing the dairy section at a grocery store, and/or may track and recall other object state information in any suitable manner.”

Author: Margi Murphy

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