Food tracking remains one of the biggest challenges for health-focused wearables, but Microsoft could be hatching a plan to make it a whole lot easier to keep an eye on what you should and shouldn't be tucking away.
The tech giant was recently granted a patent for a wearable food nutrition feedback system that looks less HoloLens and more like a pair of Oakley shades. According to the filing the possible future product will use a see-through, head mounted display and "sensing devices" to provide feedback on food items detected in the device field of view.
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The augmented reality glasses will apparently be able to monitor sight, sound, location, temperature and motion, using eyeball tracking tech to know what items the user is looking at. Once identified, an image processing engine then analyses the item and pulls up nutritional information based on data provided by a manufacturer, submitted by a restaurant or from a similar recipe.
Gesture recognition is then used to identify the food item chosen by the wearer plus the glasses track sound and head movement to determine when you start eating.
The listing also goes on to explain how warnings could be provided based on a user's personal dietary requirements or allergies. It can also factor in general nutritional information, track calorie and nutritional intake to give you a heads up when you should steer clear from any calorie busting items you've spied. Like the image below illustrates, it will tell you whether it's wise to have another big meal for the day.
Other features will include GPS to track your location. The system knows when you walk into a certain restaurant to pull up reviews in order to help you decide whether you should stick around and order or make a dash for the door. There's also talk of other social elements like making it easy to share information on previous meals with other users.
The patent was originally filed in 2015 and follows on from other food related patents Microsoft has filed in the past including one for analysing restaurant menus and another based around food allergies.
To say this is an ambitious idea is an understatement. There's so much here that Microsoft will have to get right on the hardware and software front to make this a reality. Will it be able to house the tech into something that looks more Snapchat Specs than Google Glass? We might be waiting a while before we see someone walking around with food analysing smartglasses.