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Japanese boffin designs glasses for the absent minded

Find forgotten items

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Finding your misplaced possessions may soon become a problem of the past. Boffins at a Japanese university have invented a pair of smart specs that recognise objects and record their locations to help you find them later.

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Prof. Kuniyoshi's glasses remind you where you left things
Image courtesy of The Times

The prototype glasses – which you definitely won’t find in Specsavers – have a camera mounted on one side that records everything you see and a small display on the adjacent side that faces your eye.

Their inventor, Professor Kuniyoshi, from the Tokyo University School of Information Science, told The Times that a software algorithm written into the special specs' hardware allows individual items, such as your iPhone or your BlackBerry, to be recognised.

If, god forbid, you forget where you left either of these items, then simply say “Where’s my iPhone” into a microphone built into the glasses. The over-eye display then plays back video footage of the last time the camera recorded any view with an iPhone in it.

Kuniyoshi admitted that the goggles don’t always recognise the right objects. However, he recommended that spending a few spare hours wandering around your house calling out the names of objects would help improve the glasses’ recognition skills. That sounds like fun...

The inventor isn’t stopping at household image recognition, though. Kuniyoshi likened the design to robots’ eyes in the Terminator films and claimed that in the year 2012 future, information from the internet could be fed to the glasses.

This could overcome the need for users to ‘set-up’ the specs first by manually saying the names of objects before the glasses can recognise, say, a laptop. Internet-generated information would mean wearers could look at a building and instantly be told its history or recognise a type of flower, just by looking at it.

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