From Gadgets

Sixth Sense Technology from MIT

Sixth Sense DeviceIn February, a woman by the name of Pattie Maes demonstrated a new “sixth sense” technology at the TED conference.  It essentially brings to life the scenes we see in Minority Report where Tom Cruise is flinging visual data around with his hands, searching for suspected murderers.  She and her team, spearheaded by Pranav Mistry, have been developing this new technology for a while now but have finally demo’d it for the public to see.  At the core of this tech. exists a lanyard type device that has a digital camera, mini-projector, mirror, cell phone and colored marker caps to wear on your fingers.  It sounds a bit wacky, I know, but you have to see this thing in action.  It is one of the neatest things I have ever seen.

At the moment, all of the hardware can be purchased off the shelf and costs no more than $350 to create a fully-functioning device for this purpose.  Considering everything that this contraption does, that is a very, very nice price tag.  In the coming years as this technology is developed further I imagine that costs will only decrease further.

Airline Ticket InformationOne of my favorite features so far is the ability for the device to recognize that you are holding a book and almost instantly show you the average rating it received on Amazon.com, let you view user comments, etc.  Similarly it will also recognize products that you are holding, such as a roll of toilet paper at the grocery store.  It will then check the product based on your preferences and give you a red, yellow or green light indicating whether or not it would be a desirable product for you to buy.  It will also recognize if you are holding an airline ticket and check online for delays, displaying on the top of the ticket the current estimated setback.

It will be years before any of this sees true real-world application, but I’m glad somebody continues to work on projects such as this as it is most definitely going to be a big part of our future.  The sooner we start polishing technology the better it will work for us in the years to come.

[ click here to view the video demonstation on TED.com ]