Tuesday, March 24, 2009

The interaction that had me at "hello world": SixthSense TED presentation by Pattie Maes, of MIT's Fluid Interfaces Group

The interaction that had me at "hello world".
Photo Via Google Images

Although research about multi-touch and gesture interaction has been going on for many years, it took the release of the 2002 movie Minority Report to fuel the recent mini-explosion of interest. Members of MIT's Fluid Interfaces Group have been working on projects that are making the science fiction of the film a reality, and at a reasonable price.

(Similar post on the Interactive Multimedia Technology blog)

In the following video, Pattie Maes and Pranav Mistry,of MIT's Fluid Interfaces Group, demonstrate SixthSense, wearable technology that incorporates a video camera, a projector, a digital camera. I especially like this application because it supports multi-touch and multi-user interaction. Although it is in the prototype/demo stage, it looks like it is a mobile technology that has potential.

From the SixthSense website:

"The SixthSense prototype is comprised of a pocket projector, a mirror and a camera. The hardware components are coupled in a pendant like mobile wearable device. 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 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 movements and arrangements of these fiducials are interpreted into gestures that act as interaction instructions for the projected application interfaces. The maximum number of tracked fingers is only constrained by the number of unique fiducials, thus SixthSense also supports multi-touch and multi-user interaction."

Photos from the SixthSense website.

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