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Reality gets just that much more virtual…

Soon. Or maybe later.

Another invention that seems almost too rooted in science fiction to be realised, the Sixthsense gestural interface by the Fluid Interfaces Group at MIT makes it almost possible to carry our very own reality augmentator around with us. It allows you to add layers of virtual information to real-world objects in real time.

Technologically, it's based on existing technologies, a webcam and a minature projector paired with a mobile phone to carry the software and for web access. The sensor rings you have to wear may actually evolve into a fashionable accessoire, once the technology is declunkerised and made mass-marketable.

Currently, it includes a map application, a camera that operates by snapping a frame you choose with your fingers, email… and more to come. Watch the vid for the full monty. The music is a bit on the elevator side of things, but the application of technology is amazing.

Operation seems simple, with gestures familiar from devices such as iPhone or the Surface, or films such as Minority Report. We may soon have to get used to people making apparently inane motions in the air or on their hands as they interact with their own version of reality. Kind of reminds me of this:

(source: Lionhead studios)

A little side-note: the graphic used above is inspired by the rather poor picture explaining how 6thsense works I found on the web… somehow I thought the concept should be illustrated a bit more clearly.


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