SixthSense and Augmented Reality

Posted Friday, January 15th, 2010. Filed Under My Daily Dose

This is a very interesting talk about the possibilities of integrating physical objects from the physical world to the digital world.  Mr. Pranav Mistry demonstrated that when someone wrote on a sticky note, the message was transmitted from the note to the computer screen and eventually to his mobile phone through SMS.

Eventually, the SixthSense device was developed and looked like a pendant with a camera, projector and mirror attached to it.  In addition to the pendant-like device, there were four color tabs placed on the user’s fingers.  The SixthSense device observes the user’s physical gestures and uses the digital world to augment their user experience.  For example, if the user is walking outside and sees something he wants to take a photograph, he simply uses his fingers to make a gesture.

This is similar to Augmented Reality.  Merely pointing at physical objects, people can now get real time information on it.  For example, if you held a paper towel, imagine being able to locate the store with the lowest price for that particular paper towel.  Or imagine going to a book store, picking up a book, and being able to browse user-generated reviews about that particular book realtime.   Another example was when Mr. Mistry had a boarding pass, with Augmented Reality, he could use the SixthSense to find whether his flight was delayed.

At first the internet was a breakthrough, having an incredible amount of information available at the user’s fingertips.  Then, with the growth of Web 2.0 (Social Media) people were able to share and edit various online experiences (e.g. remixing songs).   Combine the growth of web 2.0 with an increase in the number of smart phones (mobile phones such as the iPhone, which has apps that augment the user’s information gathering experience), this becomes the new frontier for possibly web 3.0 or Augmented Reality.  Productivity at work as well as finding new information has never become so easy.  The possibilities for designers would be endless.  What ideas do you have that could enhance the user experience?

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