Researchers combined a mobile projector with a webcam and mobile phone to create a device that draws information from the environment. The wearer can also interact with the sixth sense device using touch gestures on nearly any surface.
The researchers showed off the sixth sense device at this year’s Technology, Entertainment and Design (TED) conference. While the gadget is not being primed for mass release, it represents a forward-thinking way of blending technology with our environment.
The sixth sense gadget’s projector can turn anything into a touch screen and captures input via the webcam. The wearer can draw a circle on his or her wrist and the device will project a digital clock face.
The gadget can also take pictures of the wearer’s surrounding with very simple prompts. All the user has to do is frame out an area and the webcam will snap a frame.
MIT’s latest device can also provide additional information about a wearer’s surroundings. The gadget recognizes products on store shelves and can provide product and price comparison information.
The device can also retrieve flight information simply by viewing a plane ticket to let the wearer know about delays. When reading magazine articles, the device automatically pulls up related information from the Web.
The sixth sense device was cobbled together from common parts costing just $300. At the heart of the device is a smartphone that uses an Internet connection to retrieve information.
In addition, the device turns nearly any surface into a touch screen. If nothing else is available, the wearer can even project a screen onto a hand.
MIT researcher Patty Maes says, “It can really let you connect as a sixth sense device with whatever is in front of you.” Even better it lets people leverage the power of technology in ways that are lightweight and very natural.