Microsoft recently received a US patent that describes a backpack with a built-in digital assistant based on artificial intelligence. If this
Microsoft recently received a US patent that describes a backpack with a built-in digital assistant based on artificial intelligence.
If this patent ever becomes a reality, such a device would be designed to solve several problems faced by artificial assistants.
The backpack will use speakers, a camera, GPS and pressure sensors built into its shoulder straps to sense its environment and receive user commands through a microphone.
Microsoft expects that such information will allow the Assistant to better understand context and provide more relevant answers to user queries. For example, the camera could scan a poster with information about an event, and the user could ask the assistant to add the date of that event to their calendar. The patent also considers a situation where a user is in a grocery store holding a product, such as a banana, and the assistant provides information about the prices of bananas at nearby stores.
The company chose a backpack form factor to provide the user with complete freedom of movement and hands-free. This distinguishes it from mobile devices, which have similar functionality but require looking at the screen and using at least one hand. Microsoft also compares the backpack’s potential capabilities to home assistants like Apple’s HomePod, highlighting the added benefits of using the device outdoors.
In addition, the backpack can contain a computer, tablet or other device that can interact with the assistant and provide additional processing power. It can also be wirelessly linked to cloud services and other mobile systems used by the user.