Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Sixth Sense

MIT Media Labs just blew my mind!!! They've been experimenting with a device called 'Sixth Sense,' that in the most amazing way brings the wealth of information online directly into the real world. Check it out. (And pardon the cheesy music)

From their website:
We've evolved over millions of years to sense the world around us. When we encounter something, someone or some place, we use our five natural senses to perceive information about what is facing us. That information helps us make decisions and chose the right actions to take in a situation. But arguably the most useful information that can help us make the right decision is not naturally perceivable with our five senses, namely the data, information and knowledge that mankind has accumulated about everything and which is increasingly all available online. For several years now, our research group has been intrigued by the question of whether we could develop a "sixth sense", i.e. a way of perceiving relevant meta information about whatever we are facing in a seamless, non disruptive way? In theory we have anywhere and anytime access to all information online through our cell phones, but in practice that is not really the case. We do not interrupt a conversation with a stranger to Google them. When shopping for paper towels in the super market, we do not get out our cellphone, start a browser and look up some websites to find out which of the many brands is the most ecologically responsible choice. A true sixth sense device would not require any interruption of what we are doing and would not require that we change any of our behavior in order to access information relevant to what we are doing. Our latest invention and device that comes closest to providing a true "sixth sense" for relevant meta information consists of a camera and tiny projector that are worn around the neck. The projector projects information onto whatever surface is in front of the user, while the camera interprets the scene in front of the user including recognizing the user's hand positions and gestures. As a result, the wearer can see information projected onto a surface and interact with the information using natural gestures.

1 comment:

  1. Just when I thought people with bluetooth cellphones were annoying. Now I'm going to have to deal with these assholes?!