Many of us have now caught on to the gems on TED, which offers wonderful insight (following its focus on Ideas Worth Spreading) into the worlds of Technology, Entertainment and Design (and more!). It’s a place where you can now get lost for hours streaming the archived talks from a labyrinth of luminaries, from Isabel Allende to Philip Zimbardo, and plenty more in between (Al Gore, Stephen Pinker, Richard Dawkins, …). TED conferences have usually been held in California, with the addition of the biennial TEDGlobal in the UK.
Now TED had has made the great leap to India, with a conference held in Mysore in November 2009. And the gems are really sparkling! Watch Sendhil Mullainathan help us to ‘Solve social problems with a nudge‘, or (and this is my favourite thus far) be blown away by Pranav Mistry with ‘The thrilling potential of SixthSense technology‘.
Pranav has emerged from MIT’s Media Lab with SixthSense technology that immediately makes your new Apple iPad (and much else) superfluous. The head of the lab’s Fluid Interfaces Group, Pattie Maes, first introduced Pranav’s genius at the TED conference in early 2009, but her demo isn’t as engaging as the first-hand account of his enthralling voyage of discovery.
What adds to the excitement of this technology is that the hardware Pranav uses in his demo cost a measly (by some standards, anyway) US$350. And, perhaps even more importantly, he will be releasing the underlying software as open-source.
But what is it, I hear (well, I imagine I hear) you ask?! Essentially, SixthSense is a ‘wearable gestural interface that augments the physical world around us with digital information and lets us use natural hand gestures to interact with that information’. Uh?
Watch the talk – you’ll understand.