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Microsoft Foresees AR Tracking Your Keys, Milk, Entire Life ( 84

Want a virtual assistant that means you won't lose anything ever again? A patent application filed by Microsoft hints at that future. From a report on CNET: The technology described in the patent filing, published Thursday, would bring sophisticated, automatic object tracking to augmented reality. A cousin of VR, which creates an entirely digital experience, augmented (or mixed) reality blends the real and virtual worlds into a seamless experience -- think Pokemon Go. One of the challenges for more advanced augmented reality is that a system would need to track not only you as a user, but also the other objects in your environment. Microsoft's patent document suggests a technology that would do just that. The new tech would fit neatly with Microsoft's own HoloLens augmented reality platform. As AR becomes more common, it could lead to a future in which you can ask Cortana (or Siri or Alexa) where you left your shoes or if you're out of eggs.
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Microsoft Foresees AR Tracking Your Keys, Milk, Entire Life

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    AR without the cost.

  • I have to type some words here.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      It went to someone who doesn't waste their time posting on Slashdot when they should be working.

      - Alexa

  • It will be the next hip thing, like vinyl, Moleskin notebooks and analog film.
    Safer too.

    • by TWX ( 665546 )
      Some of us realized that it was never a good idea to plug-in in this fashion in the first place. I have a degree of control on the PCs and even the smartphones. I can shut them down or power them off, using them only when I want to use them, and they're actually designed for this to be fairly straightforward and easy to do.

      The "Internet of Things" is a whole new ball of wax, especially in consumer-land where devices are not single-taskers. Bad enough that a commercial EMS controller on an HVAC system
  • The last time that I heard seamless used correctly
    ...the project designer, in a rare moment of 20/20 hindsight, remarked to his PHB ...the details seemed less problematic, at the time.

  • ... or Windows Mobile or just Windows how they like to call it nowadays (yea, go marketing department, go).

  • 1) can someone weigh in on what kinds of image processing is out there now that we slashdotter's can get in on? I ask because of number 2 (cue The Prisoner reference)...

    2) Just taking a moment to consider this...
    I'd be more comfortable if this were open-source, but there's some neat uses for this idea. I've considered getting a hololens, if only to poke around with it, but the idea of AR seems much more useful in day-to-day life than VR at the moment.
    It obviates the need for sensors in everything (keys, egg

    • by TWX ( 665546 )
      I think the point of this exercise is to figure out how to infer when someone is dealing with their keys, or eggs, or other things, without using sensors on everything.

      Sensors on everything is going to be impractical. There are too many end-products that can't really be tagged, especially natural products. Even if Dole stickers got made to have tags, they're not going to be able to integrate mass into those tags. It's necessary to figure out the answers to the pertinent questions without relying on se
    • A few years back, I saw someone who didn't just patent (in fact didn't patent) but built a system like this on a Roomba. He(she?) added a camera and processor to the top of the Roomba, built software on OpenCV, and used his Roomba to record where he left his (a) keys and (b) Coke Can. I think that those were the limits of his(her?) image recognition (Coke Can and distinctive keychain)

      I think it was posted on, but I cannot find it. Now that tech is better, it seems like this is approaching a

  • by Dunbal ( 464142 ) * on Friday December 30, 2016 @10:41AM (#53578513)
    I foresee myself avoiding Microsoft AR.
  • conversation (Score:5, Insightful)

    by gtall ( 79522 ) on Friday December 30, 2016 @10:42AM (#53578527)

    Me: Hey Cortana (or Siri or Alexa), you are no longer needed on any of my systems. Could you please remove yourself and all traces of yourself?

    Cortana (or Siri or Alexa): I cannot do that Dave.

    Me: b.b.b.but, these are my systems, I want you off them.

    Cortana (or Siri or Alexa): Read the fine print, Ace, I own your systems, now could you please remove yourself from my premises?

  • I'm making old spelling mistakes due to relying on autocorrect. Turned it off so I can rely on myself more, it's worth it for me to use my brain.

  • by JonnyCalcutta ( 524825 ) on Friday December 30, 2016 @10:46AM (#53578561)

    I'm no patent expert but from a quick glance the patent basically seems to describe 'using object tracking in AR', with the AR part supposedly making it unique. There's nothing in the patent about the technical measures used yet from a few examples and a picture they claim ownership of tracking any inanimate object and using that info in an AR environment.

    Maybe I'm missing something that makes this a worthy patent.

  • You just lie down and stop using your brain; Cortana does everything for you. Leaving aside that this is not a vision of heaven, but of hell, the idiots at Microsoft are making the same mistake that the AI community has been making for the last 40 years. Consider yourself middle-fingered, Microsoft, and I guess I don't have to tell you what it is that you can do with Cortana.
  • we havent cured aids, we cant make progress on climate change, we cant make a dent in mass incarceration and 50 years after the civil rights amendment racism still unaccountably exists in society amidst wealth inequality not seen since the dawn of the 20th century...but at least the toilet paper has an IP address now and the milk has a floating bullet decal reminding me the kids have drank it all.
  • by JustAnotherOldGuy ( 4145623 ) on Friday December 30, 2016 @11:32AM (#53578885)

    "it could lead to a future in which you can ask Cortana (or Siri or Alexa) where you left your shoes or if you're out of eggs."

    This kind of super-invasive monitoring will be very attractive to police and divorce lawyers.

    Janet: "Siri, whose bra is this?"
    Siri: "Jennifer, my records show that the lacy black bra in your hand belongs to Alice Marie Simmons who was here at 3:52pm on January 9th while giving your husband a blowjob that lasted 7 minutes and 19 seconds. Afterwards they took a shower, using 28.5 gallons of water and 6.2 cubic feet of natural gas for heating. At 4:26pm they consumed the last two Hot Pockets and 16oz of milk. Would you like me to order some more Hot Pockets?"

    • That would on the other hand allow people with debilitating mental illness to be able to live independently a bit longer. If you got alzheimer, a long progressive mental illness, such assistant would be a boon.
      • That would on the other hand allow people with debilitating mental illness to be able to live independently a bit longer. If you got alzheimer, a long progressive mental illness, such assistant would be a boon.

        Yep, I would agree with this, it could be very useful to a range of people. And I'm not saying it shouldn't be available, I'm just pointing out the possibilities of unintended consequences.

    • by h4x0t ( 1245872 )
      there aren't enough mod points.
  • "Alexa, where can I find a Philips head screwdriver?" and instead of directing you to the nearest hardware store, she directs you to a drawer or cabinet containing one. People will call this super-invasion bad this and bad that, but if you didn't see this coming from a mile away, you haven't been watching.

    Corporations dealing in the kind of tech regularly dismiss or accommodate law enforcement requests for any recorded\generated data. Rather than fearing the man, we need to work towards legislation that de
    • "Alexa, where can I find a Philips head screwdriver?" and instead of directing you to the nearest hardware store, she directs you to a drawer or cabinet containing one.

      Wrong. It will lie that you do not have one in the house and then then bombard you with adverts for local hardware stores.

      • by wjcofkc ( 964165 )
        Or it contracts malware and Alexa's five-years hence humanoid robot, gently says, "I've got one right here." You turn around and it repeatedly stabs you in the eyes until it's batteries run out.
  • wife: where have you been ?
    husband: I have been late at work.
    Alexa: Oh no, you had some beers at the pub, then you asked me where is the car key.

    Or worst:
    NSA agent: what is inside your iPhone ?
    visitor: just phone numbers and pics of my family.
    Alexa: Dave, you shouldn't say evidently forgot about the secret map you encrypted into the pics. Remember ? You asked me the password yesterday...
  • by Anonymous Coward

    No one needs this shit. Ok, some people may WANT it, but some people are stupid. Actually, most people are stupid, and that is just the sad truth.

    It is reminiscent of what has happened to cars in the past couple of decades. Cars are now filled with lots of stuff no one really needs, and this has driven the price of acquisition and the cost of repairs up considerably.

    Really good designers know that simplicity is the ultimate in sophistication. In other words, they are done not when there is nothing left to A

  • If people can't read the Slashdot summary and from that know what a new cryptic acronym stands for (without RTFA), a Slashdot editor should be fired.
    • AR is Augmented Reality. It's been discussed here since before Uber was a thing. Uber no longer needs a description. AR therefore no longer needs to be spelled out each time.

  • AR ala Hololens will fail while you need to put on clunky anything. There's a compelling reason to do so if you're playing a game, or using a work application, but for everyday use there is no compelling reason for this technology over the utility offered by your phone. Add the batman factor concerns and yet another thing needing a battery charge and you're into a product nobody wants and will fail.

    VR has a compelling reason. The games are badass. But you're not going to wear it around. AR ala Hololens is b

  • How much longer before this sort of technology becomes required by law, "For the safety and protection of citizens", of course?
    Seriously, this sounds like a bonanza of surveillance data for government and law enforcement, who in many cases won't even need to provide a proper warrant, just categorize it as 'in the interests of National security' and the secret court signs off on it, Microsoft (or whoever) gets a National Security Letter, and voila, your entire life is splayed open to whatever three-letter go
  • Or you could, you know, get a life.

  • by jenningsthecat ( 1525947 ) on Saturday December 31, 2016 @02:26AM (#53583579)

    Nor my milk, nor my "entire life". Not ever, unless I'm either imprisoned or forced to live in some Orwellian dystopia.

    Why is society so hell-bent on extending childhood to the point where the average person never really grows up? The way things are going, I wouldn't be surprised by an offer from a 'digital assistant' to help shake off the last drop.

  • Memory and intelligence are not synonymous, but are obviously closely linked. Years ago, after a talk I gave, the hosts gifted me with a plaque and a few items, the most useful of which was a book called Super Power Memory by the mentalist Harry Lorayne []. It was one of the most practical books I have ever read. It contains dozens of ways to effectively improve memory. I am no mentalist but the book taught me the importance of training and using my memory. The enormous computational and memory power available

If you suspect a man, don't employ him.