Pranav Mistry, a researcher at MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology)
hailing from Gujarat, has created a digital prototype of a portable 'sixth
sense' device that can seamlessly channel Internet information into daily
The invention is being currently evaluated by corporations including Google,
Microsoft, HP and Samsung, say reports. This 'sixth sense' device can turn any
surface into a touch-screen for computing, controlled by simple hand gestures.
“SixthSense''' is a wearable gestural interface that augments the physical
world around us with digital information and lets us use natural hand gestures
to interact with that information,” says Mistry's website (www.pranavmistry.com).
Although the miniaturization of computing devices allows us to carry
computers in our pockets, keeping us continually connected to the digital world,
there is no link between our digital devices and our interactions with the
physical world, said Mistry.
“Information is confined traditionally on paper or digitally on a screen.
'Sixth Sense' bridges this gap, bringing intangible, digital information out
into the tangible world, and allowing us to interact with this information via
natural hand gestures,” he added.
According to this MIT researcher, 'SixthSense' frees information from its
confines by seamlessly integrating it with reality, and thus making the entire
world your computer.
The 'SixthSense' prototype comprises a pocket projector, a mirror and a
camera. The hardware components are coupled in a pendant like mobile wearable
Both the projector and the camera are connected to the mobile computing
device in the user's pocket. The projector projects visual information enabling
surfaces, walls and physical objects around us to be used as interfaces; while
the camera recognizes and tracks user's hand gestures and physical objects using
computer-vision based techniques, the website states.
The software program processes the video stream data captured by the camera
and tracks the locations of the colored markers (visual tracking fiducials) at
the tip of the user's fingers using simple computer-vision techniques.
The inventor says 'Sixth Sense' implements several applications that
demonstrate the usefulness, viability and flexibility of the system. The map
application lets the user navigate a map displayed on a nearby surface using
hand gestures, similar to gestures supported by Multi-Touch based systems,
letting the user zoom in, zoom out or pan using intuitive hand movements.
The drawing application lets the user draw on any surface by tracking the
fingertip movements of the user's index finger. 'SixthSense' also recognizes
user's freehand gestures.
For example, this system implements a gestural camera that takes photos of
the scene the user is looking at by detecting the 'framing' gesture. The user
can stop by any surface or wall and flick through the photos he/she has taken,
according to the website.
The 'SixthSense' system also augments physical objects the user is
interacting with by projecting more information about these objects projected on
them. For example, a newspaper can show live video news or dynamic information
can be provided on a regular piece of paper, it claimed.