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Microsoft Foresees AR Tracking Your Keys, Entire Life

peter oluka

A patent filing by Microsoft hints at tech that would automatically keep tabs on everyday objects so you don't have to.

The technology described in the patent filing, 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.

"Much time may be spent in trying to locate misplaced objects. 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," the patent filing (application 20160373570) says.

Microsoft has projected that 80 million AR devices will be sold in 2020, compared to around 65 million VR devices.