Wear Your World?
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Wear your world?

Who said Apple’s iphone is the ultimate or Microsoft surface is the next best wave? Pranav Mistry, a Research Assistant at MIT Labs shrugs at such hyperbole. According to him 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?

Although the shrinked computing devices and mobile phones allows us to carry computers in our pockets, keeping us continually connected to the digital world, there is definitely a gap between our digital devices and our interactions with the physical world. Information is confined traditionally on paper or digitally on a screen. ‘SixthSense’ evolved by the MIT Media Labs bridges this gap, bringing intangible, digital information out into the tangible world, and allowing us to interact with this information via natural hand gestures. ‘SixthSense’ frees information from its confines by seamlessly integrating it with reality, and thus making the entire world your computer.

No surface available? Simply project a screen onto your hand, and voila. The world saw it at the TED (Technology, Entertainment and Design) conference held in California last month, when speaker Pattie Maes came onstage wearing something very cool indeed: a contraption, dangling from her neck, made from a Web cam, a 3M pico projector and a mirror, all connected wirelessly to a Bluetooth smartphone in her pocket. The camera recognizes images, people or gestures you make in the air with your hands. And the pico projector can project information onto any surface in front of you.

In the video which is available on youtube, Pranav Mistry demonstrates different ways in which the Wear your World (WUW) /Sixth sense device can be used. In the video demonstration, programmer Pranav Mistry has taped his fingertips with tape in different colors, to help the software differentiate them

If you go to a bookstore and pick up a book and hold it in front of you, you can see, projected onto its cover, reader ratings and reviews. When you want to check the time, you draw a circle on your left wrist; the projector displays a clock right on your arm. You hold up your boarding pass; the words DELAYED 20 MINUTES or ON TIME are beamed onto it.

If you hold up your left hand, fingers pointing to the right. The system recognizes that you want to make a call, and projects a dialing pad onto your fingers. You tap the virtual keypad with your right hand to dial the call. You hold your fingers out at arm’s length forming a square, the way a typical Bollywood director does to frame a scene. The system snaps a photo of what’s enclosed by your fingers. Later, you can sort, resize and fiddle with these photos by projecting them onto any wall and dragging their images with your fingertips. You run into a guy at a friends wedding. The system projects his name and Facebook keywords onto his T-shirt, so you can remember who he was and start a conversation.

If MIT's little Sixth Sense gadget sees the commercial light of day, we can toss our multitouch devices out the window.