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Categories: How it Works

SixthSense, profound interaction with our environment

Ever wonder what the world would be like if you could develop a sixth sense, a sense that would give you seamless access to information that is relevant to help you with whatever you are currently busy with allowing you to interact with your environment.


A technology that allows us to develop a sixth sense already exists – it’s called SixthSense. This technology contains a pocket projector, a mirror and a camera contained in a head-mounted, handheld or pendant-like, wearable device. The projector projects visual information enabling surfaces, walls and physical objects around you to be used as interfaces; while the camera recognizes and tracks your hand gestures and physical objects using computer-vision based techniques.

This piece of technology will allow you to find information online about your immediate surroundings by using simple hand-gestures. It’s more than just a computer or information – it’s a new form of interaction.

Below is a presentation given by Professor Pattie Maes at a TED talk, demonstrating the various applications of the SixthSense system:

  • The projector allows you to display a map on a wall (or any physical surface) allowing you to interact with the map;
  • The system could project multiple photos on a wall (or any physical surface) allowing you to sort, resize or organise them with hand-gestures;
  • A number pad can be projected on your palm allowing you to dial a phone number by touching your palm with a finger to phone a friend;
  • You can find information online about a product in a supermarket by picking up the product, allowing the system to display related information on the product itself.
  • If you’re reading a book and want to find out more about the author, the system can display the authors’ information on the book itself.

This technology might not be publically available at this current day, but soon we will be able to walk around with our sixth senses – ensuring that we are always informed!

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