Thursday, May 14, 2009

Really Cool Things: MIT Labs "Sixth Sense" Prototype

No, it's not the ability to see dead people. It's a new device developed by MIT's Fluid Interfaces group, headed by associate professor of Media Technology Patty Maes. According to the group's website:
'SixthSense' is a wearable gestural interface that augments the physical world around us with digital information and lets us use natural hand gestures to interact with that information.
For those of you who don't speak Nerd, it is a prototype cobbled together with a pocket projector, a mirror and a camera that essentially projects information about an object on any surface. For example, don't have a calculator handy? Well, just project one on your hand.

Need to know the time, but don't have a cell phone (no cell phone? who the hell are you, the Unibomber?) and are too shy to ask your fellow citizen?

There are all sorts of possible applications - and many of them are demonstrated in the interesting (albeit somewhat long - 8 minutes) lecture and presentation posted below that Maes and a student in the Fluid Interfaces group gave to the TED (Technology, Education and Design) Conference. Side note: the Fluid Interfaces group has a website that showcases a number of other "really cool things" in development, and the TED website has great library of interesting lectures on a multitude of topics. Without further ado:

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