I recently watched the TED video about Pranav Mistry demonstrating his “Sixth Sense” technology, and my head is spinning with ideas about the future of home automation:
At first I was blown away by the potential of the Microsoft Surface technology. They keep talking about using it on a coffee table, but for some reason, I always envision my refrigerator door as a Surface, covered with digital photos from our photo album, digital post-it notes, to-do lists, etc.. Maybe even little spelling games that my daughter can play with on the bottom of it, just like she plays with magnets and letters now.
But the sixth sense technology fundamentally shifts those ideas. First of all is price. The Surface is $10,000 (that’s an expensive refrigerator, by any stretch of the imagination). Of course the price will come down, but the components in the Sixth Sense demo are off the shelf and only cost $300, plus he’s open-sourcing the software! There’s no reason you couldn’t combine the two ideas either. Just mount the Sixth Sense system statically over your coffee table or above your fridge and you’ll get an (albeit reduced performance) similar system for a fraction of the cost.
What else could Sixth Sense do in the home? Synchronize your paper calendar on the wall with your Google calendar? Automatically pause the TV when you get up to leave the room? How about when someone from a charity comes to your door asking for donations… could I hold up their information brochure in front of me and let it look up their score on Charity Navigator and project the score on the brochure for me?
The possibilities are impressive. What would you do with Sixth Sense?