What if a Device can turn the Entire world into a Computer?
What if a Device can turn the Entire world into a Computer?| Credit: Getty Images

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What if a Device can turn the Entire world into a Computer?

Oct 08, 2018

It has taken over millions of years to sense the world around us and we use our five natural senses to perceive information about something we encounter and it can be anything such as a place, person or an object. We then use that perceived information to take the correct action or make a correct decision. Arguably, our five natural senses can’t perceive the most useful information that can help us make the correct decision such as knowledge, data and information that a human being has accumulated about everything and which is available online. There is no link between our interactions with the physical world and our digital devices even though we can carry computers in our pockets nowadays and remain connected to the digital world all the time and information is confined on screen digitally or on a paper. This gap is bridged by SixthSense allowing us to interact with the information using natural hand gestures by bringing intangible digital information out into the tangible world. Information is freed from its confinement by seamlessly integrating it with reality and thus making the entire world your computer using device called SixthSense.

Pranav Mistry, a grad student at MIT, enabled new reciprocal actions between the world of data and the actual world by making a device known as SixthSense. He made some amazing and interesting interfaces while working with Pattie Maes (Lab Director) at media lab in MIT. These are the ways to help the actual and the digital world’s interface and not just computer interfaces. Some of these are searchable quickies which are used to send reminders, intelligent sticky notes, a public map known as “TaPuMa” acting as Google, a pen that draws in 3D and the wonderful SixthSense.

Credit: Pranavmistry
Credit: Pranavmistry

Pranav Mistry was a UX researcher at Microsoft prior to his studies at MIT and he is an IIT graduate. Now Pranav Mistry is the leader of the Think Tank Team which is a team of researchers who work for finding new methods to combine digital information with interactions of actual world, as a Director of Research at Samsung Research America. Pranav Mistry started the Galaxy Gear, company’s smartwatch, in 2013.

Pranav feels that gestures are natural to us and we should be able to interact with machines as we interact with other human beings. Various input systems were experimented by him such as

  • Computer was allowed to read hand movements by turning a hacked mouse into a glove.
  • A computer map built into a table.
  • Sticky notes sent as ‘sms’ or dealt with as an input to the computer after being written and read by the computer.
  • A pen drawing in three dimensions.

People are not interested in the hardware or software that shows information but they are interested in information. He took a step towards the elimination of the computer by making a helmet-mounted computer and using a wall for the projection to track your fingers with the help of a camera known as SixthSense. Computer can be used by making gestures at the walls and a photo is taken by one gesture immediately and an email is sent with it by another gesture. There are some more features such as 

  • Flight delay can be seen by looking at a boarding pass.
  • A review is projected on a book by recognising it (3-star, etc).
  • Copy and paste from the physical world onto the paper screen.
  • Images or videos can be projected onto newspapers.
  • Projection on paper forms the touch screen and is used to play racing games, browse web and draw with finger.
  • Pong played on the ground with your feet.

SixthSense has the ability to maintain the connectivity between ourselves and the physical world and to make things easier to access.