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Demo of a New "Sixth Sense" Technology

kdawson posted more than 5 years ago | from the i-see-live-data dept.

Input Devices 187

TEDChris writes "Here's an intriguing attempt at a versatile new tech device that tries to augment the wearer's five senses. It comes out of Patty Maes's group at the MIT Media Lab. By combining a computerized personal projector with a camera and linking both to the Net, a host of surprising new applications becomes possible. This 8-minute demo created a lot of buzz at TED last month and was posted online today. Would love to know what the Slashdot community makes of it."

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Sixth Sense (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27138565)

Turns out that the character played by Bruce Willis was shot dead at the beginning of the movie.

Warning: the preceding was a spoiler.

Re:Sixth Sense (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27138641)

Snape kills Dumbledore

Re:Sixth Sense (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27138805)

He was dying anyway. Snape is a goodie goodie pussy!

Re:Sixth Sense (0, Offtopic)

oodaloop (1229816) | more than 5 years ago | (#27138865)

Who would have thought that Darth Vader was Luke Skywalker's father?

Re:Sixth Sense (-1, Troll)

Slumdog (1460213) | more than 5 years ago | (#27139073)

Who would have thought that Darth Vader was Luke Skywalker's father?

Or that R is killed by Dr. Manhattan and there is no squid?

Re:Sixth Sense (4, Funny)

PCM2 (4486) | more than 5 years ago | (#27139129)

Dr. Manhattan killed Rosebud? That was Charles Foster Kane's favorite sled!!

Re:Sixth Sense (0, Offtopic)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 5 years ago | (#27139363)

Oh, damn it! I've never seen Star Wars! Now you've gone and ruined it for me! Now I'll never understand references like "That's no moon!"

Re:Sixth Sense (2, Funny)

PPH (736903) | more than 5 years ago | (#27139321)

I thought Willis' career was mortally wounded by Hudson Hawk [imdb.com] .

Re:Sixth Sense (1)

Gilmoure (18428) | more than 5 years ago | (#27140779)

Insensitive clod, some of us like that movie!

One possible application (4, Funny)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 5 years ago | (#27138585)

Now you really CAN see dead people!

Re:One possible application (1)

von_rick (944421) | more than 5 years ago | (#27138979)

And you won't have to imagine someone without their clothes. You can just turn on the mode which shows everyone like they would sans theirs clothes. And if you get caught doing that, you also risk getting killed, in which case you will not only be able to see dead people, you'll become one with them. Yippie.

Re:One possible application (2, Informative)

tlhIngan (30335) | more than 5 years ago | (#27139921)

And you won't have to imagine someone without their clothes. You can just turn on the mode which shows everyone like they would sans theirs clothes. And if you get caught doing that, you also risk getting killed, in which case you will not only be able to see dead people, you'll become one with them. Yippie.

Wasn't there a Sony camcorder over a decade ago that could do this?

ISTR that it was recalled due to its "night vision" mode turning into more like "x-ray vision", except stopping at just under the clothes... I wonder how many cameras were actually returned, and how many were re-sold to others who wanted that particular feature.

Re:One possible application (1)

Abreu (173023) | more than 5 years ago | (#27140045)

[citation needed]

...or as kids nowadays say: "Pics or it didn't happen!"

Re:One possible application (2, Interesting)

CatsupBoy (825578) | more than 5 years ago | (#27140151)

Reuters [deadmedia.org]

Linked to from the references section of this wikipedia article:

Infrared photography [wikipedia.org]

Re:One possible application (1)

Cyberax (705495) | more than 5 years ago | (#27140067)

All you need for this feature is a simple IR camera.

It's easy to do - just remove IR filter (looks like transparent plastic film) from any cheap digital camera and add visible light filter (red plastic film).

Re:One possible application (1)

Zerth (26112) | more than 5 years ago | (#27140309)

Yup, suprisingly many fabrics are IR transparent/translucent.

A fun thing to do is get a black shirt that is grey under IR and write messages on it in black or blue marker. Freaks out security, but looks almost normal to the mook asking you to take off your shoes.

Not so much fun at casinos, though.

Re:One possible application (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27140709)

I thought it was amusing that the wearer of this device could project rude words and disparagements across people without them being aware of it. Or display stuff on them and then molest, I mean activate web links on them. And even not actually have to have conversations with them but instead read their blogs..

Actually, its a pile of crap, I hate it. I'm holding out for the version that interfaces with my genitals and gives me a nice feeling whatever I'm looking at.

spidy sense! (3, Funny)

jollyreaper (513215) | more than 5 years ago | (#27138603)

Now all we need are web casters, ultra-sticky material for the hands and feet, and someone to beat Tobby MacGuire with a bar of soap in a sock if he comes anywhere near it.

Re:spidy sense! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27139659)

I can already shoot an ultra-sticky material from elsewhere.

Re:spidy sense! (1)

BlackSnake112 (912158) | more than 5 years ago | (#27139925)

At will? And without touching by your (or anyone's) hands?

I would hate to see what your laundry looks like...

It is a vibrating butt plug (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27138633)

That helps those with a defect in mirror neurons to tell the difference between funny weird and funny ha ha.

I already have more than five senses (4, Funny)

holophrastic (221104) | more than 5 years ago | (#27138643)

I, as a typical human, have plenty more than five senses. I would have hoped that people's understanding of their own body would have continued past grade-school.

But in any event, I welcome yet another sense beyond my current twenty-something.

Re:I already have more than five senses (3, Insightful)

DrLang21 (900992) | more than 5 years ago | (#27138705)

This isn't a "sense" at all. A "sense" implies something that provides continual information about your immediate environment. This is just another human interface to a computer. Nothing to see here.

Re:I already have more than five senses (4, Insightful)

von_rick (944421) | more than 5 years ago | (#27138851)

The purpose of putting the term "sixth sense" in quotes tells you that it clearly isn't a sixth sense in literal terms. They are just calling it so because they couldn't find any other term which would make people sit through the whole demo, which btw was ultra-sleek.

Re:I already have more than five senses (1)

the_wesman (106427) | more than 5 years ago | (#27140459)

oh - so, by your logic, if I have a demo that I don't think people will watch, I can advertise it as "naked pictures of your mom" - of course, it's not _literally_ naked pictures of your mom - I'm just using it because I can't find any other term which would make people sit through the whole demo - naked pictures of your mom, btw, are ultra-sleek

related: quotations marks are also often used when quoting people not just for poor slashdot headlines

Re:I already have more than five senses (2, Funny)

Tryle (1159503) | more than 5 years ago | (#27140625)

I've seen his mom, I would not be watching the demo. Your logic is flawed.

Re:I already have more than five senses (2, Insightful)

Curtman (556920) | more than 5 years ago | (#27138885)

This is just another human interface to a computer. Nothing to see here.

Did you watch the video? There is definitely something to see here.

I expected to have a foodarackacycle and a rosie robot by now, at least a flying car. But this will do for now.

Re:I already have more than five senses (2, Informative)

DrLang21 (900992) | more than 5 years ago | (#27139337)

I did. Looks like a specialized PDA with internet access. We were supposed to have hand held devices that would do similar things with RFID tags by now. If that can't make it to the market, this stands no chance. I predict that the technology is far too expensive for a consumer device.

Re:I already have more than five senses (3, Funny)

tsm_sf (545316) | more than 5 years ago | (#27139551)

Should I get off your lawn?

Re:I already have more than five senses (2, Informative)

edelholz (1098395) | more than 5 years ago | (#27139563)

She said that the components cost about $350 as is.

Re:I already have more than five senses (2, Interesting)

lawaetf1 (613291) | more than 5 years ago | (#27140257)

Sure.. just like the "components" of my server costs only $5,000. Then there's the $30k database license sitting on it. And the 2A of power it draws, and the $1k/month internet connection.. and my salary.. etc. Her hardware cost reference is to promote the "why don't we have this now?" reaction.

Anyone else notice the instances of him using the device (bookstore, grovery store) were conspicuously dimly lit? Not knocking what is certainly a clever packaging of components in an experimental doodad.. but would you buy a device you couldn't use outside?

Re:I already have more than five senses (3, Informative)

Curtman (556920) | more than 5 years ago | (#27139585)

I did. Looks like a specialized PDA with internet access.

Yeah, just like that except you aren't holding a PDA in your hands, it's projecting on to surfaces that you are looking at.

I predict that the technology is far too expensive for a consumer device.

Again, I predict that you didn't watch the video. They built it with "off the shelf" parts for $350.

Re:I already have more than five senses (1)

DrLang21 (900992) | more than 5 years ago | (#27139711)

They built it with "off the shelf" parts for $350.

Now add in manufacturing labor and maintenance, R&D costs, quality control, profit and marketing. A lot more than component cost goes into making a device. I would estimate with bulk orders, you could get the component cost down to $275-$300. That's not bad. Now you'll need to double it or probably more. Pretty soon it costs as much as a laptop and the iPhone becomes cheaper.

Re:I already have more than five senses (1)

Curtman (556920) | more than 5 years ago | (#27140805)

Yeah, because this thing and the iPhone do exactly the same thing right?

Re:I already have more than five senses (0)

DrLang21 (900992) | more than 5 years ago | (#27141197)

What's the difference? All this thing does is look up information on something presented to it. The iPhone can be used to look up the same information, with the only disadvantage being that you have to manually search for it. For the examples presented in the video, manual searching is trivial. The display technique is gimmicky with no advantage beyond the fact that it's hands free.

Re:I already have more than five senses (2, Interesting)

Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) | more than 5 years ago | (#27139403)

Exactly. Now the cyborg implant of a magnet in the middle finger of the left hand- that at least does SOMETHING NEW.

Re:I already have more than five senses (5, Informative)

JustinOpinion (1246824) | more than 5 years ago | (#27138833)

I, as a typical human, have plenty more than five senses. I would have hoped that people's understanding of their own body would have continued past grade-school.

Yup. This is a pet-peeve of mine, too. Humans have between 9-16 senses [wikipedia.org] (or more), depending on how you want to count/divide them. The "5 senses" idea dates back to Aristotle... and we've learned quite a bit about the world and the human body since then. Frankly it's ridiculous that even in grade school children are told that humans have 5 senses: it's patently false. And it's quite easy to demonstrate otherwise (e.g. ask a person if they can sense which way is down).

It bugs me to no end that these kinds of basic science mistakes are repeated ad nauseum.

Re:I already have more than five senses (2, Interesting)

petes_PoV (912422) | more than 5 years ago | (#27139027)

The thing about school is that it biggest tacit lesson is to give the expected answer - not the correct one. As the OP, I use this exact question (along with how many colours in a rainbow) as an example.

It goes down great with the kids, though the teachers I know, hate it.

Re:I already have more than five senses (3, Interesting)

Goldsmith (561202) | more than 5 years ago | (#27139477)

Depends on who you ask...

I would say we have only 4 senses: chemical, light, pressure and temperature... but part of my job is to work on electrical analogues of sense and often this boils down to the most basic properties. For example, telling which way is down is just an application of a pressure sensor, even though it's nothing like a sense of "touch".

Of course, I understand completely that a neurologist is going to have a different opinion, which is correct in its own way, and probably more similar to how a computer scientist would think of things.

But, yeah, the 5 senses thing is pretty dumb.

Re:I already have more than five senses (5, Insightful)

node 3 (115640) | more than 5 years ago | (#27140357)

I would say we have only 4 senses

And I would say you're too smart for your own good. A sense is an aspect of the physical world you can detect, it's *not* the type of physical phenomena being utilized in the sense. Otherwise, all senses are just chemical (or electro-chemical, if you want).

The sense of up and down is distinct from the sense of rough or smooth, even though both use pressure, just like a radio antenna and a roll of photographic film are distinct even though they both measure electromagnetism.

Re:I already have more than five senses (1)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 5 years ago | (#27139603)

Hmmm...well, I think we tend to simplify things in early education because children have brains that are still developing and simply cannot understand some very subtle distinctions or abstract concepts. Ask the average 1st grader if his sense of pain comes from his sense of touch and he'll answer in the affirmative.

I think we all understand that we have more than 5 senses already, it's just that we've all had the 'five senses' thing beat into us since we were old enough to speak.

Re:I already have more than five senses (0, Offtopic)

holophrastic (221104) | more than 5 years ago | (#27139847)

"I met a five-year-old child once who had managed to learn to speak German. And that's a hard language to learn."

And hey, I met a dog who took commands in Chinese. It was impressive because I'm in Canada. It's not surprising because the dog grew up in China.

Children, and dogs, will learn whatever you teach to them. Stop teaching them crap. I know many adults who can't conceive of any more than five senses. They don't even realize that field sobriety tests -- in any movie pre-dating breathalizers -- doesn't test ayn of those five.

Re:I already have more than five senses (1)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 5 years ago | (#27140657)

I know many adults who can't conceive of any more than five senses.

And I know many adults who can't conceive of any more than 10 digits. The fact that there are a lot of ignorant people out there doesn't change the fact that if we tell a 5 year old about his sense of equilibrium, he probably won't know what you're talking about.

Re:I already have more than five senses (1, Offtopic)

holophrastic (221104) | more than 5 years ago | (#27141137)

If you tell a five-year-old about his sense of vision, she won't understand either -- unless you said the word "vision" before.

"Equilibrium" is not a difficult word. You simply have to teach it -- five-year-olds lack two very important skills, they aren't psychic, and they don't tend to initiate cognitive learning.

But hey, as an adult, the number of times I talk to clients or people and have to say "emplain it to me as though I'm six" is very large. A lot of people like to say things, having no idea what they mean. And when you ask them to explain to you what they mean, it becomes very apparent that they have no idea.

I have one client (to make this relevant here) who likes to refer to her new web-site as being in "beta". She also likes to discuss features in terms of the "database". But what she says makes no sense. So I'd ask her "what do you mean by 'beta'?". And she'd say "you know, 'beta'. I don't know, 'beta'. it's your industry, you know what I must mean." And I'd ask "what do you mean by 'database'?", and she'd say "you, database, like, the whole thing."

It turns out that she used 'database' to mean any part of her web application that allowed her to see information. And she meant 'beta' as the first launch. Clearly, those are awy off. 'database' means the storage and manipulation of the data, not the reports and the presentation. 'beta' means it's still broken and has bugs, and we're letting external users find them. The confusion, of course, came when she said things like "we need to change the formatting of the database" and "it has to be bug-free for the beta launch".

So now we have an agreement. If she can't define a word, she can't use it.

Children aren't stupid, and they aren't ignorant. They're simply inexperienced.

You say many adults can't conceive of any more than ten digits. Well, they also can't conceive of any fewer than ten digits. And it's purely because no one ever told them, and they never tried. Children haven't had a chance to try, and most adults don't know enough to tell them.

Teach children about "equilibrium" and they'll understand. Don't and they won't. It's that simple. But I promise you one thing: if you don't know what the word means, you won't be able to teach it; not to children and not to adults. All you'll be able to do is to spread the confusion.

So, who taught you?

Re:I already have more than five senses (1)

BAKup (40339) | more than 5 years ago | (#27140643)

(e.g. ask a person if they can sense which way is down)

I know that one! The enemy's gate is down!

Re:I already have more than five senses (1)

inviolet (797804) | more than 5 years ago | (#27141129)

Yup. This is a pet-peeve of mine, too. Humans have between 9-16 senses (or more), depending on how you want to count/divide them. The "5 senses" idea dates back to Aristotle... and we've learned quite a bit about the world and the human body since then. Frankly it's ridiculous that even in grade school children are told that humans have 5 senses: it's patently false. And it's quite easy to demonstrate otherwise (e.g. ask a person if they can sense which way is down).

I find this absurd situation to be quite useful. The "five senses" claptrap is a quick and easy way to demonstrate to a ballast^H^H^H^H^H^H^Hlay person that a 'fact', known by everyone, written in every textbook, and taught in every school, is obviously wrong.

From there they are on the way to "floating above" their society -- finally being able to see it objectively and pass judgement on its mores. Then they can compare it against other societies, uninstall whatever religion rootkit they didn't know they were hosting, and become a full-power subversive.

Hopefully.

Re:I already have more than five senses (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27139369)

You've probably got an anal stimulation sense wired to the pleasure center of your brain.

Re:I already have more than five senses (0)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 5 years ago | (#27139393)

  1. Sight
  2. smell
  3. touch
  4. taste
  5. hearing

Care to name your other twenty something senses?

PS: there should be no hyphen between "grade" and "school". Dodn't you learn that in grade school?

Re:I already have more than five senses (4, Informative)

MozeeToby (1163751) | more than 5 years ago | (#27139579)

1 & 2. Brightness and Color
3. Hearing
4. Pressure
5. Pain
6. Temperature
7. Smell
8-13. The different Taste Receptors
14. Balance/acceleration
15. Proprioception - Knowing where your body parts are. If you don't believe this is a sense check out the Pinocchio Illusion
16. Vasodilation in the skin (blushing)
17. Sensing a full bladder/bowels
18. Intestinal discomfort (not actually pressure nerves, that's just how your body perceives them)

Re:I already have more than five senses (1)

DrLang21 (900992) | more than 5 years ago | (#27139581)

6. pain
7. balance
8. acceleration
9. proprioception
10. temperature

Just to get you started...

Re:I already have more than five senses (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27139657)

  1. Sight
  2. smell
  3. touch
  4. taste
  5. hearing

Care to name your other twenty something senses?

PS: there should be no hyphen between "grade" and "school". Dodn't you learn that in grade school?

Nope I dodn't learn that in grade school

Re:I already have more than five senses (5, Informative)

holophrastic (221104) | more than 5 years ago | (#27140227)

Pain, proprioception, thermoception, orientation, direction, acceleration, balance, . . .
Ever seen a cop perform a field-sobriety test? You know, before breathalizers? It specifically tests balance and proprioception -- stand on one leg, eyes closed, and touch your nose. The only way it tests any of your five is because you need to hear the cop speak the directions.

Build a robot, or design any physical machine, and see how many "sensors" you need before it can do anything. Your laser printer has a dozen sensors just to align the paper!

In my world, possibly the same as yours, "grade-school" is indeed hyphenated; in part because it is a unified term. In "grade school", "grade" is an adjective where "school" is a noun. In such syntax, "grade" modifies "school". I was not referring to a school on a hill, or to school which teaches about grading. Now, I was talking about a school which is gradual, and hence "grade school" would have worked, I was not referring to the entire academic system in which education is taught gradually. I was referring to the subset of years consisting of grades 1 through 6(ish), commonly coined "grade-school".

Similarly, I could have used "elementary-school", however "elementary school" would have been a school that teaches the periodic table, or the basic elements of some other industry.

See, "adjective noun" is a general form of English, where each word is considered according to its individual definition. "adjective-noun" is a specific form of English, where the compound-word (or "compounded word", because "compound" is a noun, and "compounded" is the adjective here) is considered according to a non-Englist lexicon, often industry-specific jargon.

They taught me your way in grade-school, when they told me that I was in grade school. That's my point. My education continued beyond grade-school where I learned that I had not only attended grade school but I had also attended grade-school; and I learned the important distinction.

But I'll ask you the same question I ask of people who argue "whom" versus "who". "How many times have you said the word 'whom' in the last year?" Many of them realize that they've never used it, and that's when they realize that they must be making some mistake. So in your case, when was the last time you used a hyphen? If you answer is unreasonable, then clearly you aren't utilizing the entire English language properly.

A lot of people have been dropping hyphens over the last sixty years -- twice my life-time. But hey, people say "there's five of them over there" because they don't seem to realize how ignorant and hick-town it sounds when expanded to "there is five . . .".

Re:I already have more than five senses (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27140557)

Dear god i really hope you are trolling.
If not, then here is yet another typical example of education doing wrong.

I know the education system holds back a specific chunk of people for the sake of society, but for crying out loud, at least stop some of this blatant lies.
At least teach them about the senses influenced by external sources.
Balance and Acceleration are 2 important ones.

Re:I already have more than five senses (0, Flamebait)

16Chapel (998683) | more than 5 years ago | (#27140305)

So what, meatbag?

Come back when you've got smision.

Re:I already have more than five senses (1)

holophrastic (221104) | more than 5 years ago | (#27140437)

So it's upsetting that public knowledge stops at a mere five.

What do I make of it? (1)

overlordofmu (1422163) | more than 5 years ago | (#27138675)

I want one! Hell, I want three!

Already exists (1)

LordEd (840443) | more than 5 years ago | (#27138709)

Its called a gun.

*Bang*... I see dead people

I guess (2, Informative)

oodaloop (1229816) | more than 5 years ago | (#27138721)

this sixth sense doesn't help to identify dupes, since this, or something very much like this, was just on /. a few weeks ago.

Re:I guess (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27138761)

Yup:
http://hardware.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=09/02/05/222206&from=rss

I think I can't afford one (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27138723)

At least I got chicken.

I have a sixth sense. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27138753)

I can "smell" a dupe a mile away [slashdot.org] . Smells worse than Cowboy Neal's taint (or so one would imagine).

Re:I have a sixth sense. (2, Insightful)

retech (1228598) | more than 5 years ago | (#27139305)

Pity KDawson doesn't have that ability.

Overlay on my glass instead... (4, Insightful)

sam0737 (648914) | more than 5 years ago | (#27138835)

I hope I can get the information overlay'ed on my glass instead of projecting out. First it should get better contrast, second I don't need to display what I am looking to the public.

Put the calibration aside, I would need to start wearing glass...Or should we get the video overlay signal injected into the brain?

Re:Overlay on my glass instead... (1)

LingNoi (1066278) | more than 5 years ago | (#27139279)

I am assuming you mean glasses. I don't think you need to wear them or have a port hard wired into your brain.

I think the trick is directing photons to the wearer's pupil, however I can imagine that some strong eye tracking would need to be in place first.

Re:Overlay on my glass instead... (3, Insightful)

nine-times (778537) | more than 5 years ago | (#27139865)

Yeah, that was my reaction. It's one thing if all the information being displayed would be a standard default, but as soon as you customize what data to show you, you're already displaying private information about yourself whenever using this. It'd be much better if it was displayed in a format that was private, that only you could see.

Beyond that, if it's something mounted in your glasses, it seems like it opens the potential (perhaps) to track eye movement and therefore guess at what you're looking at. That might open the door to have it make more intelligent guesses as to what kind of information you're looking for, instead of just displaying information about whatever happens to be in front of you.

But I gather from the video that this was all just supposed to be a starting point or proof of concept rather than an actual product. Maybe given an investment, building it into glasses would be more feasible.

Wearable Display? (2, Interesting)

GerardAtJob (1245980) | more than 5 years ago | (#27138877)

The use of a retinal display could complement this thing nicely... but since microvision have all and every patent on this... and only create stuff for military purpose, we won't see anything like this soon...

Re:Wearable Display? (1)

Zerth (26112) | more than 5 years ago | (#27140419)

On the plus side, the basic patents have less than 10 years to go.

Re:Wearable Display? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27140921)

no but.. what? you mean.. patents STIFLE creativity? *shock* Never saw that one coming.

Re:Wearable Display? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27141347)

It's not like they haven't tried to make a consumer version. If you're willing to shell out $10k you can get a 800x600 monochrome red display from Microvision.

Now they're making handheld projectors, but I'd imagine their ultimate goal is ramping up production so they can make their wearable displays at a lower cost.

How the Hell is this a sense, or even useful? (0)

Aphoxema (1088507) | more than 5 years ago | (#27138919)

It's just the same old image recognition we've seen used in much more clever ways, now it's just with colored finger condoms.

Re:How the Hell is this a sense, or even useful? (4, Insightful)

carlmenezes (204187) | more than 5 years ago | (#27139573)

A lot of technology is the combination of existing pieces. What makes it useful is how the pieces are combined. Are search engines useful for that matter - they're essentially queries running on databases right?
Besides, it's a demo of a work in progress. You could have come up with this - but did you? Did you even think about it and envision it as completely as it was presented in the video, let alone implement it?
This is a work of genius. Please do not belittle it.

Spook Country (1)

Zebra_X (13249) | more than 5 years ago | (#27138939)

This idea was featured in Spook Country by William Gibson.

You would think that (2, Funny)

One Brave Prune (1470115) | more than 5 years ago | (#27138971)

with all that technology the girl at the end would have a calculator watch.

Re:You would think that (1)

mustafap (452510) | more than 5 years ago | (#27139315)

Being a nerd, I'd have to hack the code to project a binary led watch.

More Typical Media Lab goodness (0)

El Cabri (13930) | more than 5 years ago | (#27139013)

Slapping together a few existing gadgets into an application that is in dire need of a real problem to solve.

Dupe? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27139065)

Its the video blog of the story over a month old.

http://hardware.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=09/02/05/222206 [slashdot.org]

Re:Dupe? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27139285)

KDawson = Dupe

Some of this is reminiscent (1)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | more than 5 years ago | (#27139077)

of the VR artwork mentioned in William Gibson's "Spook Country". However, I don't think the projector idea is very practical. Probably it will be replaced by some sort of head-up display, like transparent VR glasses that overlay what you see with generated images.

Re:Some of this is reminiscent (1)

Sabathius (566108) | more than 5 years ago | (#27139297)

Very insightful, but that's just version 1.5. Version 2.0 will be projected on your eyeball, or optic-nerve. The tendency of technology is to become invisible. I imagine that by 2050 everything we use on a day-to-day basis will be either embedded within us or the environment (or both).

Re:Some of this is reminiscent (2, Interesting)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 5 years ago | (#27139399)

You can already do this in a limited fashion with Google Maps on the Google phone. Using the built-in compass and tilt sensors, it can display a Street View image that changes as you pan the phone to correspond with the direction the display is pointed. Which opens up the possibility for someone to write an app for the Google phone that takes the camera image in real time and displays it on the LCD with superimposed 3D virtual modifications that everybody running the app could then see at the same location. Just imagine the multiplayer games you could play with that! (Ignoring, of course, the safety implications of a bunch of people navigating busy streets by looking through their cell phones.) As far as I know, this should be doable on the iPhone as well (and possibly other devices).

Augmented senses: SID (2, Informative)

macraig (621737) | more than 5 years ago | (#27139103)

I already know how to augment a person's senses: it's called SID (Sensory Integration Disorder). Anyone with SID is automatically the proverbial canary in the coal mine. Doesn't require any awkward paraphernalia, either, just a few rearranged genes! You probably already know one of these SID people, like the guy who screams at the neighborhood kids to stop that infernal racket!

Re:Augmented senses: SID (1)

macraig (621737) | more than 5 years ago | (#27139181)

"So you mean that mutants with super hearing and x-ray vision are walking among us now? ZOMG! Call Nathan Petrelli and round 'em up!"

Meh (0)

Greyfox (87712) | more than 5 years ago | (#27139241)

Implantation of tiny rare earth magnets in your finger tips makes for a far more interesting sixth sense. Then you can sense magnetic fields. No power supply needed or anything. Describing feeding you ads when you look at a product as a "sense" is a load of crap.

Not Six (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27139339)

Contrary to popular believe, people don't have five senses. We have about nine, depending how you divide them up.

Only one reason to enhance your senses: sex (1)

gapagos (1264716) | more than 5 years ago | (#27139381)

Does it make it more enjoyable?

Solution looking for a problem? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27139455)

It seems sort of cool, I guess, but what's the point? It doesn't seem to do anything that you couldn't do more conveniently with a cell phone, and half of that stuff (Amazon ratings in books that are in your hands? Just read part of the damn thing.) seems pretty useless in general.

The only good thing I see about it (1)

sunking2 (521698) | more than 5 years ago | (#27139471)

At least now when you are caught staring at a womans chest you can blame it on your projector display.

sixth sense (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27139589)

I knew it yesterday!

What could possibly go wrong? (3, Funny)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 5 years ago | (#27139607)

Imagine all the great opportunities for gaslighting [wikipedia.org] people you don't like you could create by hacking into this device while somebody else is wearing it!

Solution in search of a problem (3, Insightful)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 5 years ago | (#27139683)

When is the MIT Media Lab going to start working on something that is actually USEFUL to the common person? Say something in the field of teledildonics [wikipedia.org] , for example.

Surprising? (2, Informative)

Alrescha (50745) | more than 5 years ago | (#27139867)

"a host of surprising new applications becomes possible"

Surprising? New?

No. Please read some Vernor Vinge. To stay on topic, I recommend "Fast Times at Fairmont High", which covers the concept of augmented reality quite well. Someone wake me when technology catches up to that.

That said, I think it's wonderful that someone is working on it.

A.

Vernor Vinge is the man (1)

wurp (51446) | more than 5 years ago | (#27141021)

Vernor Vinge invented cyberspace (although I don't think he coined the term) in True Names.

If you haven't read it, I highly recommend it. Read True Names to get a notion of the profound visionary Vernor Vinge is. (Remember it was published in 1981).

Then read Rainbows End with your newfound respect for Vinge's powers of prognostication, and recognize that you're seeing into the near future.

(This post is a blatant copy of an old post of mine.)

media lab (1)

demon411 (827680) | more than 5 years ago | (#27139903)

I took a class with Pranav where he presented TapuMa http://fluid.media.mit.edu/projects.php?action=details&id=53 [mit.edu] as his final project. The idea seemed cool, put down a pair an object on the map and it showed you relevant locations. In fact, I think most of his projects had something or another to do with maps. This new project of his incorporates pieces of tangible interfaces as well as fluid interaction (ambient interfaces) and smart agents

Good editing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27140033)

Some of the things in that "demo" looked like fancy editing tricks to me. Like when he drew the watch on his wrist... looked to me like they just added that after filming. Wonder what in this video was actually "real". I mean, if we're comparing special effects, movies have plenty of those.

It's faked (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27140115)

If image recognition is really as far along as this demo suggests it is (recognizing books, recognizing toilet paper), why is a barcode scanner the most advanced thing we actually see in phones today?

And if she was wearing one of the devices, why didn't she actually demo it on stage?

This seems to be demoing the application of a bunch of technologies that are somewhere on the continuum between "doesn't generally work even in the lab" and "impractical for a handheld/neckworn computer."

If you're going to pretend that something is practical and then show how cool it is, why not produce a video of you living on the moon, instead of buying toilet paper?

Someone Please Tell Me (2, Insightful)

DynaSoar (714234) | more than 5 years ago | (#27140369)

Just what really revolutionary devices have been developed and put into common use by MIT Media Lab? I see a lot of hype from them, and it's getting less and less realistic and more obviously pie-in-the-sky. Science in the popular media only requires this condition and that's where Media Lab seems to live now. Real applications require more. What concretely have they done, previously and lately?

If they're stuck in theory mode, so be it. But then they should present their theories as such, not as super duper gaming gizmos on the verge of revolutionizing everyday life.

I'm still waiting for my jeans with the embedded keyboard they "demo'd" a decade or more ago.

Where are the intention gestures? (2, Interesting)

izeskepticles (1326519) | more than 5 years ago | (#27140583)

The tough part in a "real world environment" is understanding the users intentions. They left out all of the hand gestures you would need to explain your intentions to the computer. Which makes this far more complex to interact with than shown here.

Where is the free software project? (1)

Statecraftsman (718862) | more than 5 years ago | (#27140995)

I think this is a neat demo but where can I find me some source code and help extend it?
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