That’s a scenario Facebook parent Meta describes in a new patent awarded to the company for a smart assistant for augmented reality hardware as first reported by longtime tech and entertainment reporter (and former coworker of mine) Janko Roettgers on his blog Lowpass.
According to the patent, the Meta smart assistant app would be used on smart glasses (such as its Ray-Ban Stories wearables) through both reminders and geo-aware contextual information provided by GPS signals:
- Another example shown in the application (and atop this article, if you’re reading it on the web) is a reminder to buy milk. The assistant then figures out that the best time to deliver this reminder is when the user goes to the store.
- From the filing: “The assistant system may determine that the user is at a supermarket/grocery store based on … the user’s location information captured by GPS signals or visual signals captured by the smart AR/VR glasses” and then remind them to buy milk.
I’d find this type of application useful, but where I’d really like to see this go is to provide in-store navigation information (like help me find milk in a grocery store) or to provide additional contextual information as I compare items on a store shelf (which items has lower sugar or doesn’t have gluten, for example).
That would require in-store beacons and sensors, which we’re already starting to see make their way into stores to power contactless retail systems. This type of in-store contextual AR info would be even more useful for grocery store employees, as they restock shelves, check prices or check to see if an item is in stock.