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Microsoft Patents Operating Systems Software Hardware Technology

Microsoft Patent Suggests HoloLens Could Keep Track of Your Small Items ( 62

A new Microsoft patent has been published that describes a system that would let its HoloLens glasses track small items like car keys, ultimately helping users find their lost belongings. What's more is that the system can "monitor the status of objects without any instructions from users, keeping tabs on anything that's important to their lives," writes Adi Robertson via The Verge. From the report: The patent's basic idea is pretty simple. HoloLens has outward-facing cameras that can make a spatial map of a room, and machine vision technology can identify or track specific objects in an image. So if, for example, you put your keys down on a table, HoloLens could hypothetically spot them through the camera and quietly note their position. When you're about to leave the house, it could give you the keys' last known location, even if they've since been covered up by a newspaper or slipped under a couch cushion. But what's really interesting isn't the idea of HoloLens tracking an object. It's HoloLens learning what items matter to you and choosing what to follow, before you ever worry about losing something. To be clear, you could designate objects: one example has a traveler telling HoloLens to track their passport while abroad. In other cases, though, it could check to see how often you interact with an object, or when you move it around, and start tracking anything that hits a certain threshold.
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Microsoft Patent Suggests HoloLens Could Keep Track of Your Small Items

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    Now where did I put my Microsoft HoloLens?

  • by Anonymous Coward

    I don't lose small items ever since I stopped socializing, because I don't have the constant distraction of blithering idiots competing for my attention. You'd be amazed how much concentration a person can muster by ignoring the shit out of worthless fucking people.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Wake me up when it can track dupes [].

  • "track" (Score:4, Interesting)

    by swell ( 195815 ) <jabberwock.poetic@com> on Saturday December 31, 2016 @09:47AM (#53584285)

    The word 'track' appears several times in TFS. Readers here know where that leads.

    We can expect that M$, Google, Apple & Fecebook will soon have maps of our homes, our workplace and our dungeon and all the goodies inside.

  • by WoodstockJeff ( 568111 ) on Saturday December 31, 2016 @10:00AM (#53584313) Homepage

    ... on slashdot across days? []

  • OrsonObject

  • I wonder how well this system would work if one has additional agents of chaos (i.e. ferrets, toddlers, etc.) that like to locate small objects left on tables and hide them in unexpected places.
  • So is obvious that the future is shaping up to be one where our own brains are hardly used any more, so like all other unused parts of our bodies will begin to shrink/disappear.
    We will be literally lost, even in our own homes, whenever we take off our visors because there will be nothing to tell us what to think and when.
    We will become the perfect unthinking, unquestioning, remote-controlled labour force.

    • Tron called this 30 years ago.

      Dr. Walter Gibbs: [laughs] "You've got to expect some static. After all, computers are just machines; they can't think."

      Alan Bradley: "Some programs will be thinking soon."

      Dr. Walter Gibbs: "Won't that be grand? Computers and the programs will start thinking and the people will stop."

      Also this gem that is branded onto my heart

  • It's not that special?..
  • Way, way, back in the mid 1980's they came out with a tiny device you could put on your key ring. If you could not find the keys, all you had to do is whistle, and it would beep back 3 times. You did this until you "cornered" the keys. To me, I think it was better/cheaper technology.
  • "Microsoft has determined that you would enjoy penis enlargement services. We invite you to review informationlets we send through your browser, smart TV, and all facial recognition billboards. Microsoft is fully committed to making your life better."
  • I cannot even recall the last time I lost anything. Why would I use this? May be of use to people with Alzheimer's?
  • It's bad enough the TSA looking in my pants, but now Microsoft want to do it.

    Huh Huh. Huh huh. Micro soft. Heh heh.

  • Once I've come to rely on my HoloLens to find things for me, how am I supposed to find my HoloLens?

  • "A new Microsoft patent has been published that describes a system that would let its HoloLens glasses track small items like car keys, ultimately helping users find their lost belongings."

    This may be useful for absent-minded folks or people with Alzheimer's, but not really for me. For example, for the last 40 years my car keys are in one of three places: in my pocket, on the counter in that little bowl, or in the car's ignition switch. Even though I'm old and decrepit I just don't misplace a lot of stuff.

  • This is just a patent application. That doesn't mean it's been granted, or will be granted. And I'm not a lawyer, but it doesn't sound like this comes anywhere close to meeting the supreme court's "not an abstract idea" standard. This is totally something a human could do, if you just hired a human to follow you around and write down where you left things. That means it's not patentable.

    • I'm pessimistic and think, sadly, that you have too much faith in the patent office.

      The correct response to this doesn't even have anything to do with "an abstract idea" - it should be "You have a device that is designed to take pictures and can identify objects in those photos, and that device has location information and storage. Using that device to keep track of the locations of objects is obvious - not patentable.

      The only thing patentable would be if they had some novel way of storing location informat

  • So basically only if they're already in the line of sight of that thing, as well as in the field of view which is smaller than what your eyes normally see. Just get a TrackR [] or something, and then you don't have to do all that searching. And it's probably cheaper than a HoloLens.

  • If it was simply "My user has put keys down at X,Y,Z. Store this data somewhere this side of their router", I'd love it.

    Whereas I kinda suspect it's going to be "My user has put keys down at X, Y, Z. They appear to be keys for a Ford Mondeo. Possibly the 2014 model. Store this data on the Microsoft servers for data mining. Provide access to every damn Government agency around the world."

The primary function of the design engineer is to make things difficult for the fabricator and impossible for the serviceman.