Microsoft HoloLens AR Tech Could Simplify Tracking Misplaced Items And Consumable Goods In Your Daily Life

Do you really need a $3,000 device to keep track of your keys, your shoes, or to tell you if your milk jug is near empty? Well, if Microsoft has its way, you’ll be using devices like the HoloLens to keep track of everyday items that might otherwise be misplaced during your daily routines.

A newly uncovered Microsoft patent filing describes a system in which an augmented reality (AR) headset is used to track items, be they at home or at work. In addition, the company believes that AR could be used to monitor the status of consumable goods like your orange juice or even eggs:

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.

hololens ar patent

An AR headset like HoloLens would be capable of capturing image data in order to make a determination about the “state of the inanimate moveable object”, and could then trigger an alert/notification for the user to display this state. Microsoft even describes a scenario in which a user could invoke voice control to inquire about the location of misplaced keys.

“A user wearing the see-through display device 100 may use a voice command such as ‘track this object’ while holding an inanimate moveable object (e.g. keys, wallet, credit/debit cards, etc.) in front of the see-through display device 100, thereby triggering the see-through display device to store the object as a tracked object,” the patent filing reads.

In this case, it would most likely be Cortana taking your request, after which the keys would be highlighted through the HoloLens display.

Such technology definitely seems promising, but it may be a while before most consumers are comfortable with wearing an AR headset at all times to make such an innovation worthwhile. And that’s not even getting to the costs associated with AR tech, which will likely take a few more years to reach mainstream status.