Do you remember where you put your wallet? If the answer is no, Microsoft has the glasses for you ... almost. The tech company has just filed a patent for a pair of augmented reality (AR) glasses "that can scan a user's surroundings and track objects like keys, wallets or other things."
The glasses will act in place of the proverbial bread crumb, guiding you back to the last place you remember having your lost item. If it happens to be hidden under something, the AR system will "highlight" on its "see-through display."
But what happens if the glasses get misplaced? Who finds the finder?
According to Engadget's Steve Dent, Microsoft "is throwing wayyy too much tech at this." While the glasses will be able to scan your surroundings and rank items based on "their importance, presumably by some kind of AI scheme," there are already some other nifty tools in place to prevent loss. RFID tags and Bluetooth trackers are already on the market and have helped users find their lost items pretty well so far.
But Microsoft claims their glasses "may adaptively learn which objects to track" and may, given time, even track when you need to pop down to the grocery store for milk and eggs.
Microsoft's AR glasses use a similar system to their mixed reality HoloLens, which allow you to engage with digital content in a real world setting. You can make the glasses recognize an item by holding it level with the lens (so they don't mistake your soothing bamboo plant for your Wii remote).
This is certainly a step in an interesting and long-overdue direction. Other companies like Magic Leap, a startup that develops "novel human computing interfaces and software," have been working on commercializing their "human computing interface technology" (Cinematic Reality) for a while. Google was one of the first companies to invest after Magic Leap easily surpassed others with its "quality of ... virtual vision."
According to Wired, Magic Leap has $1.4 billion in investments.
But, according to Microsoft's patent with the World International Property Organization (WIPO), the glasses will not only be able to virtualize your world and help you find your lost items but will be able to move between AR and real world view with the "flip of a switch."
You can order HoloLens glasses through Microsoft's website, but you will have to wait a bit longer for these new AR specs.