Microsoft envisions a future where your HoloLens will help you find your lost keys (patent)

by Surur
December 28, 2016

There will come a time, one day, when mixed reality headsets will shrink down to the size of a normal set of glasses and will have all day battery life, such that we are wearing them constantly.

When that day comes Microsoft’s patent application for “OBJECT TRACKING” using an augmented reality headset will come in very handy.

Microsoft envisions a world where we all wear augmented reality headsets constantly, which constantly keep track of our every day objects using a the video feed from the device in a collaborative fashion, so you could simply ask Cortana where your keys are, and she will tell you where either you, or your other house members last saw it.

Microsoft writes:

The tracking of the location or other state of objects may occupy a significant amount of effort in everyday life. Further, much time may be spent in trying to locate misplaced objects. For example, searching for misplaced car keys, wallets, mobile devices, and the like may cause people to lose productive time. 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.

Briefly, a mobile device, such as a see-through display worn by a user, may comprise image sensors that observe the user’s environment. Video data from the image sensors may be processed to detect objects in the user’s environment, and to identify tracked objects in the video data. State information, such as location and other characteristics, of tracked objects may then be stored. This may allow for the output of an alert regarding the state of a tracked object upon detection of an alert trigger, such as a user request or a contextual clue. The state information may be stored locally, and/or uploaded to a remote service. Where multiple people utilize object-tracking devices as disclosed herein, each person may become aware of changes to objects made by other users via the sharing of object tracking information. 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.

With a battery life of only 2 hours I don’t think Microsoft will be adding this feature to the HoloLens any time soon, but in a few years time we may all have a constant record of our day online ready to instantly search, just like we do the internet, which will make the world I suspect a lot more interesting.

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