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Magical realism just got real with this

Thursday, 11 March 2010 - 10:42am IST | Agency: dna
Pranav Mistry (29), who is attached to the media labs of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), wooed the audience at the Emerging Technologies Conference (EmTech).

Pranav Mistry (29), who is attached to the media labs of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), wooed the audience at the Emerging Technologies Conference (EmTech) in the city on Tuesday with his sixth sense technology.

Mistry said his aim was to make people avail the benefits of the digital world without being tied down to a computer screen. The device that he had developed was demonstrated for the first time at the TED conference in Mysore last year. It has since been improved a great deal.

“For the user, what matters is not what is on the cloud (which is the term used to refer to the form of computing that uses the Internet and shares resources, rather than being dependent on the traditional PC, storage or software). What’s more, all gadgets have a rectangular screen. My objective is to get people away from these screens. People should be able to get work done, even if they do not sit in front of keyboards. What I have attempted to do is to integrate information with real-world elements, so that information itself becomes tangible,” Mistry said.

Elaborating, Mistry said, “We don’t call a call centre to seek instructions on the use of a hammer. Similarly, tech products too should not require a great deal of learning. A good way to reduce it would be to use gestures instead of physical input devices, such as the keyboard or a touch screen.”

Offering a demonstration of his sixth sense, Mistry showed a small camera, projector and a mirror connected to a Windows Mobile phone. The whole device could be worn like a pendant around the neck. All one had to do to click a photograph was make a frame with the fingers. The device would take a picture of the image framed by the hand.

To see the picture, all you need to do is stand in front of a wall. You could even browse the Internet with the small device around your neck. Since the instrument uses mobile technology, the data is stored online.   




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