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.”
Michael Sean Wright of Nice Fish Films recorded a podcast with me today. Billed as “a discussion with really big thinkers”, we talked about The Singularity Summit and some of my favorite emerging technologies. You can hear the podcast below.
Still considering attending the Singularity Summit this weekend? We’ve got fewer than 50 seats remaining for the main event on Saturday, and the Friday emerging technology workshop is over subscribed. Here is a teaser of what the day will be about. Hope you can join us!
On your next trip to India – you might just want to take a detour to Ambalappuzha. Ambalappuzha is a small town in the state of Kerala, in southern India. The town is famous for its Sri Krishna temple and its rice pudding.
For the temple of Ambalappuzha is where the legend of Paal Payasam originates.
According to legend, Lord Krishna once appeared in the form of a sage in the court of the king who ruled the region and challenged him for a game of chess. The king being a chess enthusiast himself gladly accepted the invitation. The prize had to be decided before the game and the king asked the sage to choose his prize in case he wins. The sage told the king that he was a man of few material needs, and thus all he wished was a few grains of rice. The amount of rice itself shall be determined using the chessboard in the following manner. One grain of rice shall be placed in the first square, two grains in the second square, four in the third square, eight in the fourth square and so on. Every square will have double the number of grains of its predecessor.
Upon hearing the demand, the king was unhappy since the sage requested only a few grains of rice instead of other riches from the kingdom, which the king would’ve been happy to donate.
Never-the-less, the game commenced, and needless to say the king lost the game. The King called forth to a porter from the royal granary to bring forth a bag of rice to met out the prize. As he started adding grains of rice to the chessboard, the king soon realized the true nature of the sage’s demands. By the 20th square, the number had reached one-million grains of rice and by the 40th square, it became one-trillion. The royal grainery soon ran out of bags of rice. The king realized that even if he provides all the rice in his kingdom and his adjacent kingdoms, he would never be able to fulfill the promised reward. For the amount of rice required to fill a 64-squared chessboard is 18 billion billion grains of rice - 460 billion tons.
Upon seeing the dilemma, the sage appeared to the king in his true-form, that of lord Krishna. He told the King that he doesn’t have to pay the debt immediately but can pay him over time – and that The king shall serve paal-payasam in the temple freely to the pilgrims every day until the debt is paid off. And today, you will still find rice pudding in the temples of southern Indian state of Kerala.