In the April 15th edition of the Christian Science Monitor, I had the priviledge of providing analysis and commentary of MIT’s “Sixth Sense” device. For the uninitiated, Sixth Sense is a conglomeration of wearable mobile tools (webcam, 3G modem, micro-projector and palmtop computer) that together collect data about the world around the wearer, and superimpose data from the cloud on top of physicality.
The full article is here: http://features.csmonitor.com/innovation/2009/04/15/sixth-sense-a-web-you-can-wear/
You can see a video of the device here:
Some choice quotes:
But observers are already envisioning future improvements to Sixth Sense that could result in some startling possibilities.
“Its current representation is a pretty fun parlor trick that has the roots of being a transformative capability down the road,” says Jonas Lamis, founder of the advanced technology research and consulting firm SciVestor in Austin, Texas.
Among Mr. Lamis’s predictions: Sixth Sense’s current projector will eventually give way to contact lenses that overlay data directly onto a person’s field of vision.
In places where we now find fixed advertisements, like posters or billboards, we will see ads calibrated to our exact location and interests, he says. We will effortlessly access virtual conversations, like those on Twitter, about the people, places, and events we come across in person.
And Sixth Sense-type computers with advanced facial recognition capabilities, Lamis says, might show information about the people we pass on the street. We would know if he donated to a political candidate, if she writes an environmentally themed blog, or if he appears in a database of registered child predators – all in real time.
“People in different areas are thinking about this as viable for consumers down the road,” Lamis says. “It [will have] really profound implications for how [we] ultimately see the world.”