MIT's 6th Sense device could trump Apple's multitouch

School says wearers of its Sixth Sense device can turn any surface or object into an interactive display that recognizes hand gestures

6th Sense device
MIT Media Lab graduate student Pranav Mistry demonstrates the Wear Ur World device, which would free data from the confines of paper or screen. MIT

Step aside, Apple and Microsoft. If MIT's little Sixth Sense gadget sees the commercial light of day, we can toss our multitouch devices out the window. Who needs a Surface or an iPhone when the very idea of being able to access information by turning any flat surface into a touch-screen display sounds far more appealing? No surface available? Simply project a screen onto your hand, and voila. Shades of Minority Report?

Minority Report
In Minority Report, Tom Cruise draws information from a glove-controlled interactive wall. 20th Century Fox

The folks at MIT have christened their wearable prototype Wear Ur World (WUW), a device cobbled together using everyday gizmos like a mobile projector, Webcam, and mobile phone. Hopefully, when the final product does ship, it'll reveal a sleeker, less clunky rendition without the colored finger bands, and one that has a discreet mode for when you need to access information privately.

As a demonstration of its capabilities, the wearer can draw a circle on his wrist, prompting the gadget to project a digital clock face, especially great for the myopic.

In the near future, WUW could become an indispensible digital wrist companion to enhance your lifestyle. It could provide product and price comparison information when shopping, retrieve flight information to let the wearer know about delays, automatically pull up related information from the Web when requested, and even snap pictures when you frame a subject with your fingers.

Too bad the Technology, Entertainment and Design (TED) Web site hasn't yet uploaded a video of Dr Pattie Mae's recent TED presentation. Fortunately, here's one from Wired.com.

(Via Crave Asia)

 

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