Sunday, March 07, 2010

Pranav Mistry's SixthSense - on an Android-based wearable projector+webcam platform?

A visiting family friend of ours pointed me to Pranav Mistry's SixthSense. If you haven't seen this already, do watch the Videos - it's really Pretty Cool Stuff.

A few days later I still can't stop thinking about this. I've started pondering about how far out in the future this amazing concept may be (in a commercialized consumer available variant) - or how close actually? What you need to make this happen is, probably: 1. a "reasonably powerful" portable computing platform, 2. wearable projector, 3. wearable capturing thing (something which senses where your finger / foot whatever points to / moves around on the projected image), 4. software with touch interface, and more.

The 1. portable computing platform could be e.g. an Android-powered device. It occurred to me to Google for "android projector", and doing that you'll discover e.g. the upcoming Samsung Beam, a small Android-based device from Samsung with a built-in projector/beamer (using a "DLP pico projector", whatever that is). I doubt it has capturing of what it projects.

Pranav's "current prototype system" which "costs approximate $350 to build" seems to be using a standard off-the-shelve webcam (and some "magic" software, or is this easier to do than I realize?). Hook that up to an Android... isn't quite possible yet, from what I found in
Android's Issue 738 about "missing support for the USB host feature", but that's surely just a question of a little bit more time? (Or directly using an Android's device built-in camera? But wouldn't the projector and the cam have to be calibrated together so the capturing works?)

And then some smart software, certainly. A touch-based platform seems a good foundation?

So this could actually be made possible in a closer future than some may think.

Wouldn't this be... "neat", or what? I would love to be able to look more into this...


Blogger Michael said...

Just stumbled upon the "The Fingermouse Project" (from ETH, my Alma Mater), interesting stuff...

07 March, 2010 02:13  

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