Perhaps the most interesting areas of creativity and technology now are where the digital and the real worlds meet. Pioneers in gestural interfaces promise to bring virtual information to meat space without the artificial intermediary – whether that intermediary is a keyboard, mouse, game controller or just a computer or phone period. We've seen some tantalizing glimpses of the future, like Microsoft's Project Natal controller-less game system.
But, outside of Minority Report, perhaps never has the future been so mind blowingly conjured as in former Microsoft user experience researcher and MIT graduate student Pranav Mistry's demonstration of something called Sixth Sense.
The Sixth Sense prototype is a wearable device - a pendant - that allows users to interact with all manner of data and virtual information with physical gestures. According to Mistry it's made up of simple ingredients, but it does some nutty things. In the demo, Mistry is seen holding up his hands in a photo framing gesture, and actually taking a picture, then browsing pictures on a nearby surface, then sending photos by dialing numbers on his hand.
Mistry on Sixth Sense: "(It's) freeing pixels from the confine of those rectangle screens and painting the world with information. I have always been interested in exploring how we can leverage our knowledge about everyday objects and how we use them, in order to interact with our digital world. This approach will not only bridge the gap between the two worlds but altogether get rid of the distinction that there are two separate worlds."
See the rest of the 2010 Creativity 50 here.