All of us are aware of the five basic senses – seeing, feeling, smelling, tasting and hearing. But there is also another sense called the sixth sense. It is basically a connection to something greater than what their physical senses are able to perceive. To a layman, it would be something supernatural. Some might just consider it to be a superstition or something psychological. But the invention of sixth sense technology has completely shocked the world. Although it is not widely known as of now but the time is not far when this technology will change our perception of the world.
Pranav Mistry, 28 year old, of Indian origin is the mastermind behind the sixth sense technology. He invented ‘ Sixth Sense / WUW ( Wear UR World) ‘ which is a wearable gestural , user friendly interface which links the physical world around us with digital information and uses hand gestures to interact with them. He is a PhD student at MIT and he won the ‘Invention of the Year 2009 ‘- by Popular Science. The device sees what we see but it lets out information that we want to know while viewing the object. It can project information on any surface, be it a wall, table or any other object and uses hand / arm movements to help us interact with the projected information. The device brings us closer to reality and assists us in making right decisions by providing the relevant information, thereby, making the entire world a computer.
The Sixth Sense prototype consists of a pocket projector, mirror and a camera. The device is pendant shaped like mobile wearing devices. Both the projector and the camera are connected to the mobile computing device in the user’s pocket. The projector projects visual information enabling surfaces, walls and physical objects around us to be used as interfaces; while the camera recognizes and tracks user’s hand gestures and physical objects using computer-vision based techniques. The software program processes the video stream data captured by the camera and tracks the locations of the colored markers (visual tracking fiducials) at the tip of the user’s fingers using simple computer-vision techniques. It also supports multi touch and multi user interaction.
The device has a huge number of applications. Firstly, it is portable and easily to carry as you can wear it in your neck. The drawing application lets user draw on any surface by observing the movement of index finger. Mapping can also be done anywhere with the features of zooming in or zooming out. The camera also helps user to take pictures of the scene he is viewing and later he can arrange them on any surface. That’s not it. Some of the more practical uses are reading a newspaper. Imagine reading a newspaper and viewing videos instead of the photos in the paper. Or live sports updates while reading the newspaper. The device can also tell you arrival, departure or delay time of your air plane on your tickets. For book lovers it is nothing less than a blessing. Open any book and you will find the Amazon ratings of the book. To add to it, pick any page and the device gives additional information on the text, comments and lot more add on features. While picking up any good at the grocery store, the user can get to know whether the product is eco friendly or not. To know the time, all one has to do is to just gesture drawing circle on the wrist and there appears a wrist watch. The device serves the purpose of a computer plus saves time spent on searching information. Currently the prototype of the device costs around $350 to build. Still more work is being done on the device and when fully developed, it will definitely revolutionize the world.
[Image courtesy: http://www.flickr.com/photos/tochis/2681316329/]