Microsoft is taking advantage of the AI surge and implementing the technology at a level that resembles a sci-fi era.
A patent recently filed by the tech giant in May and approved in August shows that Microsoft is working on an AI backpack with capabilities that are more advanced than the average smart watch.
Dora the explorer
MSPowerUser’s blog post says the backpack has a camera, microphone, speakers, processor, storage, and a network interface. The backpack is reported to be able to identify objects in the surrounding environment, interact with other devices, connect with cloud services, and perform contextual tasks as well.
Although not yet named, some have already dubbed it ‘Dora the Explorer, taking after Dora’s backpack, which is essentially a helper and assistant to Dora in her adventures.
The patent, which was approved by the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) in August, comes with some illustrations that specify how the backpack can be used, giving some examples.
According to the patent, the backpack can be taken on ski trips, and on other journeys, users can ask for directions.
In describing the backpack, Microsoft said the new product offering may “receive contextual voice commands from a user.”
“The contextual voice command may include a non-explicit reference to an object in an environment,” explained Microsoft.
“The backpack may use the sensors to sense the environment, use an artificial intelligence engine to identify the object in the environment, and use a digital assistant to perform a contextual task in response to the contextual voice command.”
The PA bag
The newly approved patent comes with illustrations that further explain how to use the backpack.
In one of the illustrations, the backpack warns its user, who is skiing, that the direction they are taking is “now out of bounce,” further instructing them to “ski to your right to stay in bounds.”
Users can ask the backpack to add an event to their calendar. While standing in front of a concert poster, a user can ask the backpack to buy tickets to that concert.
Microsoft has explained that the advancement of AI personal assistants and wearable smart devices is becoming popular.
“Digital assistants are becoming more versatile due to advancements in computing. The present concepts relate to improvements in wearable digital assistants that can perform various tasks for the benefit of users.”
This backpack might be an advanced version of what others have already tried and failed at. Indiegogo launched a campaign for their smart backpack ‘BaqPaq’ in 2020 and raised nothing to back up their invention. According to The Byte, some of the features are similar to what Microsoft intends to produce.
Microsoft’s move brings another dimension to wearable technologies, which have some fascinating technological innovations that have also come with failures.
The market awaits to see how Microsoft’s backpack will perform, but there are already arguments that this will be for a specific niche market, especially sports junkies.