New Microsoft patent hints at “smart glasses” to help you stay healthy

Kit McDonald

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A patent for Microsoft was granted this week for ‘smart glasses’, according to CNBC news. The augmented reality glasses would make the wearer aware of nutritional facts and warnings for food related items, encouraging better health choices and keeping the wearer informed of nutritional concerns.

With multiple sensors picking up visual information about the item, the device identifies food items by comparing databases by location. The smart glasses would, of course, be transparent and include a processor and non-transitory computer readable storage.

The smart glasses would  be able to attribute the user’s personal settings for the food item, going so far as to sensing a gesture or sound of consumption. Ideally, if you start to eat something you’re allergic to, it will let you know. It’s even worth noting that ‘friend recommendations’ would be on the menu for restaurants.

As the patent describes:

A system provides a recommendation of food items to a user based on nutritional preferences of the user, using a head-mounted display device (HMDD) worn by the user. In a store, a forward-facing camera of the HMDD captures an image of a food item. The food item can be identified by the image, such as based on packaging of the food item. Nutritional parameters of the food item are compared to nutritional preferences of the user to determine whether the food item is recommended. The HMDD displays an augmented reality image to the user indicating whether the food item is recommended.

Obviously, this isn’t the only utility that such ‘smart glasses’ could be used for. One reason that the HoloLens itself has such bulky hardware is because of the power needed to run higher quality apps. But with simple overlays and item recognition, these smart glasses could be the next step up for the AR market.

As with all patent discoveries, however, these plans aren’t necessarily set in stone for Microsoft as some projects might be set aside or discontinued. Still, it’s interesting to consider how daily life could be improved with such technology.