Pattie Maes And Pranav Mistry Demo SixthSense
Susan notes: Thanks to TED for making TED Talks downloadable and embeddable, and for providing the biographical information that goes along with them.
This demo -- from Pattie Maes' lab at MIT, spearheaded by Pranav Mistry -- was the buzz of TED. It's a wearable device with a projector that paves the way for profound interaction with our environment. Imagine "Minority Report" and then some.
Pattie Maes was the key architect behind what was once called "collaborative filtering" and has become a key to Web 2.0: the immense engine of recommendations -- or "things like this" -- fueled by other users. In the 1990s, Maes' Software Agents program at MIT created Firefly, a technology (and then a startup) that let users choose songs they liked, and find similar songs they'd never heard of, by taking cues from others with similar taste. This brought a sea change in the way we interact with software, with culture and with one another.
By outfitting ourselves with digital accessories, we can continually learn from (and teach) our surroundings. The uses of this tech -- from healthcare to home furnishings, warfare to supermarkets -- are powerful and increasingly real.