Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Technology as a Sixth Sense

minority-report.jpgImagine picking up your favorite cereal brand at your local grocer and projecting information about that cereal onto the box - information like what kind of impact the cereal has on the environment, where it was made, etc.

Pattie Maes and Pranav Mistry of MIT are making this possible through the use of what they call the Sixth Sense, technology that connects the world to the Internet and delivers information to you about the things you're interested in.

The Sixth Sense (via a camera and mini-projector slung around your neck) recognizes objects around you, then projects information about that object onto any surface - your hand, that cereal box I mentioned earlier, your best friend's white t-shirt. Finger sensors allow you to control and access this information in a way that is most desirable to you.

They did a great presentation on it at TED. You really have to see it to believe it.

Not sure what time it is? Trace a circle on your wrist for an instant watch. Want to take a photo? Frame the image with your hands and the Sixth Sense will snap a pic. On your way to the airport? Take a look at your boarding pass for real time flight info.

Just when you think we're out of ideas, the exponential future pokes its head out...