A new patent, US11797146B2, filed by Apple, aims to simplify and add convenience to our lives by enriching our interaction with our surroundings. This patent targets a widespread issue that many of us face - remembering to complete tasks at the right time and the right place.
Currently, people use sticky notes, phone reminders, or mental cues to keep track of duties. However, these methods often fall short. They can be messy, unorganized, and efficient. One might forget to see the reminder or lose the sticky note, leading to missed tasks or errands.
Apple's patent seeks to solve this age-old problem using modern augmented reality (AR) technology. It enables users to leave virtual 'notes' on real-life objects, through viewing them on their smartphone screens. Simply imagine pointing your phone camera at a room and leaving a note saying, "clean up toys here". What’s even more impressive is that these annotations continue to exist and can be viewed later, even when the camera shifts its focus.
Once realized, this technology will change how we interact with our surroundings. In a restaurant, for example, employees could leave a reminder on a table to remind them of special service instructions for particular guests. Professors could use this technology to leave notes on lab equipment, guiding students in their absence. In individual households, this patent could serve to remind family members to water a plant or pick up laundry.
However, it's important to remember that a patent is an expressed intent. The invention mentioned in the patent may never actually materialize in the market. Only time will tell if this patent revolutionizes how we interact with our surroundings or if it remains a great idea limited to the patent document.