[video] – The Sixth Sense demonstrates the great abilities of User Interfaces

Wear Ur World
Image by Larry Johnson via Flickr

Wired.com states in an article (found by ReadWriteWeb) as follows:

LONG BEACH, California — Students at the MIT Media Lab have developed a wearable computing system that turns any surface into an interactive display screen. The wearer can summon virtual gadgets and internet data at will, then dispel them like smoke when they’re done.

Pattie Maes of the lab’s Fluid Interfaces group said the research is aimed at creating a new digital
“sixth sense” for humans.

In the tactile world, we use our five senses to take in information about our environment and respond to it, Maes explained. But a lot of the information that helps us understand and respond to the world doesn’t come from these senses. Instead, it comes from computers and the internet. Maes’ goal is to harness  computers to feed us information in an organic fashion, like our existing senses.

The prototype was built from an ordinary webcam and a battery-powered 3M projector, with an attached mirror — all connected to an internet-enabled mobile phone. The setup, which costs less than $350, allows the user to project information from the phone onto any surface — walls, the body of another person or even your hand.

I’ve found some great videos demonstrating the Sixth Sense, a research project from Fluid Interfaces Research Group at MIT Media Lab. They demonstrate a wearable computing system which turns any surface into an interactive display screen. The great thing: It costs less than $350

Pattie Maes demonstrating the “Sixth Sense” at TED Talks:

(via TED)

ReadWriteWeb writes in an article called:  The Wearable Internet Will Blow Mobile Phones Away the following:

We at ReadWriteWeb are very excited about next-generation Internet interfaces, such as augmented reality and so-called cross reality. These wearable devices strike me as being the most impressive future Web interface that I’ve seen in a while. Check out the video and see if you agree.

I find it extremely interesting because this kind of user interface is build up with very low cost and can therefore be spread easily.

The first video demonstrating the “Sixth Sense”

Here you can see the first video which demonstrates how a wall is being used to project and interact with several applications. Using a really small projector enables people to project to walls while speaking to a friend standing nearby to someone. Using a projector integrated into a helmet is not very applicable because while you are speaking to your friend the projection is made on your friend’s face. Thus switching to a smaller device hanging around your neck is more applicable as your head is free fro movements.

(via Wired.com)

Another video demonstrating the “Sixth Sense”

For example someone being in a supermarket and heading from product to product trying to find the cheapeast or most appropriate one is done easily by just scanning the product and retrieving real time information directly from the internet. This has great potential and can be used in a variety of applications.

(via Wired.com)

More ressources can be found on Wired.com, on ReadWriteWeb as well as on the Sixth Sense Project Website, on the Fluid Interfaces Research Group Website and at the official site of MIT Media Lab.

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SEAmail – Semantic Delivery of Emails

SEAmail - Semantic Email Addressing

SEAmail is a prototype e-mail system implemented by Stanford University Logic Group lead by  Michael Genesereth, an associate professor of computer science at Stanford University. The interesting and innovative part of this e-mail system is the use of semantic technologies in order to determine the recipient of an e-mail message. Users don’t have to bother on keeping track of e-mail addresses, they just type in the real name of the recipient letting the system searching the right recipient address.

MIT‘s Technology Review writes:

E-mail addresses are an artificial way of directing messages to the right people, says Michael Genesereth, an associate professor of computer science at Stanford who works on SEAmail. “You want to send messages to people or roles, not to strings of characters,” he says. Semantic technologies are aimed at making just this sort of thing possible. The idea is to create programs that understand context, so that users can interact with the software more naturally. Technical details, such as the need to specify an e-mail address, get hidden inside the system, so that everyday users no longer have to pay attention to them.

In SEAmail, a user selects recipients for a message in much the way that she would set up a search query. The parameters can be as simple as a person’s name, or as complex as sets of logical requirements. But the system is limited by how much information it has about potential recipients. “To realize the full potential, we need to have rich data about the people who are sending messages to each other, their interests, and so forth,” Genesereth says. Within an organization, he says, there’s usually a lot of available data. The technical challenge is setting up an integrated version of the data that SEAmail can access easily. The data needed to fulfill the request for professors who graduated from Harvard, for example, would probably come from several databases, Genesereth says. His team is currently researching ways to pull together existing databases without affecting how they’re already being used.

These existing databases should be part of the Linking Open Data Movement, which aims to semantic interlink existing open data sets in order to build useful new applications and to support a Web of Data.

Furder information can be found in an article published by Standford University Logic Group, called Semantic Email Addressing (PDF).

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