RFID tags may be all the rage when it comes to keeping track of your stuff, but Microsoft is looking to patent a more futuristic idea. Using an Augmented Reality device (like, oh, just off-the-top-of-my-head: Hololens?), you would scan your environment and keep tabs on everyday objects – everything from your keys, your wallet and smartphone. If you couldn’t find said item, the AR app would guide to directly to it.
Ideally, you could scan any object so the device could distinguish between them and books or chairs etc. An AR-capable headset or mobile device could then store the last known location or any other information about the item.
In the example below, the system would notice that your keys are being covered by a newspaper and would then ‘highlight’ your keys on the augmented reality display.
In other examples, the device might be adaptable to figure out an item’s importance to you using AI. It could see how much Kleenex you have and then suggest you get some when you get to the store. Microsoft is seemingly looking to mix object recognition, Augment Reality, motion tracking and some AI into a pot and see what comes out.
Is Microsoft Serious?
We all loose our car keys from time to time, and AR is great way to solve that problem, but it feels like Microsoft is going all in on a really minor problem. There are plenty of solutions already out there – everything from RFID tags to Trackers that use Bluetooth. It would be a waste if this what Hololens is boasting as a main feature when the device has so much more potential to create, cook, fix things and educate. And I want to shoot alien robots for pete’s sake.