The Thrilling Potential of Sixth Sense Technology

“How can we leverage our knowledge about every day objects and how we use them to our interaction with the digital world?” Is the first question that Pranav Mistry asks in his Ted Talk. In other words, how can we integrate our physical world and the digital world? He then begins the explain how to took apart a keyboard mouse and fashioned a device that allowed his hand movements (how we move in the physical world) to mirror what happens on the computer (the digital world). Mistry spent the next few years exploring how to integrate these two world with a number of devices. (ex. A 3D pen to help architects and designers). In all of these experiments and demonstrations he found he was “trying to bring a part of the physical world, to the digital world”, and then realized that humans are not  necessarily interested in actual computing, rather we just want information. He then flipped it so he could “paint the physical world with that digital  information”. He then created a device that allowed any surface to be able to be painted onto digitally and your movements are tracked and reproduced.  With this capability he was able to make a gesture like taking a photo with his hands, and a phot was actually taken. This describes an era where computing merges with the physical world. He calls this technology he created “SixthSense”.

 

He also explores making these technologies dynamic. For example, using a piece of paper to do a Google search then pinching that information and putting it onto your computer with a gesture. Then taking information from a physical book and putting onto your computer with another gesture. This potentially created a more intuitive and efficient workflow.

 

At first I questioned could this possibly be harmful if we are so consumed with technology to our core that it become a literal and physical part of our world? He sort of dispels these questions  by explaining how it will help us get rid of the digital divide and the gap between the two worlds, and help us to stay human and be more connected to our physical world. Not just “machines sitting in front of other machines”. My final question is,  if technological advancement is inevitable, is this the direction we should be heading in or should we be trying to further sperate these worlds to remain “human”?

2 thoughts on “The Thrilling Potential of Sixth Sense Technology

  1. I am interested in the conclusion that people want information, rather than computing. What is defined as computing? Additionally, I am not sure how much I believe Mistry’s claim that these devices would shrink the digital divide; if his proposal is for humans to become more integrated with machines with Sixth Sense technology, how will we account for those who are not able to access it?

  2. This is a very interesting technology. I would like to see how it potentially develops over the next few years. I wonder what industry would be most interested in utilizing this tech. Maybe the military? There may be some benefits in a mobile personal interface on the battlefield. I think there would be a very slow adoption process for the majority of the public. I’d imagine costs would be very high and there would be few buyers. How can this tech be marketed to the lower and middle class?

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