At the TED2009 conference yesterday, Pattie Maes from the Fluid Interfaces Group at the MIT Media Lab showed off a new way of getting info anywhere. Calling it a "Sixth Sense," she wore and demonstrated a $350 system consisting of a battery-operated pico projector hooked up to a wearable camera and a cellphone.
Controlled by hand gestures aided by color-coded tips on each index finger and thumb, the system senses what you're looking at, projecting data about it right in front of you. For example, pick up a book and an Amazon rating is projected onto it, along with reviews. Pick up a newspaper, and the system senses what the story you're looking at is about, and projects pertinent video. Imagine the possibilities!
While today's dim-in-daylight pico projectors, stuttering streaming video from cellphones and puny portable processor power have a few more development cycles to go before an idea like this is practical, this could someday be a useful way to get some well-informed shopping done in meatspace. Or, you could just forget going out there at all and buy everything online.
UPDATE: Here's a video demo!
Via Maximum PC