Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Pattie Maes @ TED

Dr. Pattie Maes of the MIT Media lab and her doctoral student Pranav Mistry rocked TED this year with their presentation of this game changing sixth sense technology. Check out the talk. Now, this is very cool technology, even better than the stuff in the Minority Report movie that it's being compared to. The elegance of the solution appeals to me - it's systems engineering at its best, using several interconnected subsystems to achieve the intended effect.

What stands out in my mind:

(1) It was built with off-the-shelf components, nothing fancy, costing $350. So, anyone could have built this.
(2) The "device" consists of a phone, marker caps of different colors, a camera, a projector, and a mirror. That's it.
(3) It makes sense of natural gestures.
(4) It's mobile, unlike the minority report technology.
(5) The processing power is from a regular cell phone, no extraordinary parallel processing or computing resources required
(6) Totally fabulous application for someone with a really poor memory for names like me: display person's name when you see them!

I hope to meet Pattie Maes on Thursday after her talk at the Media lab, so either shoot me an email or post a comment with any questions you may have for her.

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