Technically, the vast majority of today’s smartwatches and especially so-called fitness bands are focused among others on improving the health of their wearers. But aside from counting steps, tracking workouts, estimating calories burned and monitoring sleep habits (oftentimes rather clumsily), very few can actually help make a difference in an owner’s life.
Microsoft is looking to change the way you interact with intelligent wearables, according to a patent application filed last October and published recently by the USPTO. This is in fact a continuation of a concept first envisioned back in 2012, which proves Redmond really wants the “wearable food nutrition feedback system” to materialize, but also that the path from an ingenious idea to a commercial product is usually a long and bumpy one.
In its current, no doubt refined form, the invention sees a head mounted display cooperating with various sensing devices to scan, identify and make recommendations based on food items detected in the field of view.
Sounds a little freaky, we know, not to mention extremely niche-oriented, but the end goal is quite noble. Let’s say, for instance, you’ve gained some weight, and are not sure what you should and shouldn’t eat to get back in shape while at the same time not starve yourself to death. The Microsoft glasses, if they ever come to pass, will inform you precisely how many calories are in that sandwich you’re hesitantly courting. Or they’ll simply prompt you to stop eating when you’ve had enough.
More importantly, they could give you a heads-up when you’re about to ingest something you’re allergic to, or just something that made you sick one time. Or they might direct you towards meals your friends enjoyed in the past.
Pretty neat after all, but perhaps Microsoft can build these nutrition feedback features into a future HoloLens version rather than make them the key selling point of a separate augmented reality device.