MIT's Pattie Maes Talks 'Sixth Sense'

SixthSenseWe only need four syllables to describe the technology demonstrated by Pattie Maes, associate professor in MIT’s Program in Media Arts and Sciences, at last week’s TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design) conference: IN-CRED-I-BLE!

Maes introduced a yet-unnamed product that, since its demo last week, has created a lot of buzz in the tech world for its far-reaching capabilities.

This wearable device, which Maes refers to as a “sixth sense,” contains a projector that paves the way for profound interaction with our environment. When we saw it, we immediately thought “Minority Report.” You remember the futuristic Tom Cruise/Colin Farrell sci-fi thriller where they never touched the computer, but rather manipulated the screens by simply moving their fingers in the air. Well, it’s here – and it’s beyond exciting!

(We can’t even do this invention justice in our description of it, so be sure to watch the video after the jump.)

Most of the credit for the “sixth sense” device goes to its inventor, Pranav Minstry, one of Maes’ students. The product obviously has a long way to go – at current, its design (not to be confused with its technology) is primitive. Maes said she hopes the package will be fully developed and ready for consumers in the next 10 years, but we hope it doesn’t take that long. Much like the iPhone, we think this device will change the way we capture and retain information across multiple platforms. And by “change,” we mean completely revolutionize.

Speaking of the iPhone, Steve Jobs is rumored to be unveiling the 3.0 version at today’s Worldwide Developers’ Conference. We wonder what he thinks of the “sixth sense,” which, frankly, makes the iPhone look like a rotary dial. Props to Maes for planning the demo just days before Apple pats itself on the back for another edition of its best-selling mobile device. At least the lady knows how to steal a little bit of thunder.

We wonder if she’s figured out how to swipe a slice of marketshare too.


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