Imagine no screens, no keyboards and being able to access the world’s information at your fingertips so that you can make the optimal decision on whatever it is you are doing. Wear Ur World or the 6th Sense as it is being called is a wearable device that enables interaction between your real world and the internet world of data. It is the brain child of Pranav Mistry, an Indian Phd student enrolled in the Fluid Interfaces Group at MIT Media Lab.
The 6th Sense is composed of off the shelf components, costing approximately $350, and consisting of a webcam, portable battery powered projection system (which has a little mirror attached to it), and a cell phone. The cell phone which can be in your pocket acts as the communication and computational device. The system intuitively recognizes hand gestures and the environment around it and can in real-time project requested information on any surface.
The application of this simple device is mind boggling. For instance the system recognizes a squaring hand gesture to mean “take a picture”. Using the same hand gesture the picture taken can be projected on any surface, resized, organized and filed. Drawing a watch on your wrist the system can project a watch showing the time. Zooming in on a map can project information on your surroundings. The device can recognize items on store shelves, retrieve and project information about the products and provide quick signals to let users know which items suit their tastes for purchase. Deciding on a book purchase at a bookstore? Let your 6th Sense project the reviews, ratings and what your friends think about the book, directly on the cover of the book. Reading an article in the newspaper? 6th Sense can retrieve the latest stories or videos on the topic and project and play them on the pages.
An interesting application is the social one. With your fashionably designed pendant (or perhaps there can be other jewellry items) you can walk up to that attractive man at the social gathering and see projected on his chest everything about him, his blog, his url, degrees, likes and dislikes and know what to talk about. When he exclaims: “How did you know I am a sailor?!” you can respond coyly “I guess its my 6th Sense”. But beware he might have a device on him too! (Maybe its his tie clip?)
The 6th Sense or Wear Ur World could hit the market in two years time. Cell phone manufacturers are already working on integrating projection capabilities into their products so it might be faster. Whatever the timeframe this incredible, yet simple invention integrates our world and how we will interact in a way that will have huge societal impact.