Latest news says that a man in Italy is able to experience the sense of touch through his robotic arm and he can control it with his thoughts. Meanwhile there is also word that one of the best “inventions” of 2009 is artificial meat. Scientists have taken DNA from a pig and created something like a pork chop in a Petri dish. It isn’t clear if the senses taste chicken or even if it’s the third white meat. Also from the land of science and technology is something that looks like eyewear but which allows the viewer to experience the equivalent of watching a 56 inch screen. Endless possibilities for watching DVDs without the bulk of a physical television set.
Technophobes might consider these developments to represent an assault on our five senses. But now, along comes Pranav Mistry a.k.a. Zombie, from graduate school at the vaunted MIT, who wants a seamless bridging of the digital and physical worlds. He envisions it as sixth sense. A method that does not require us to sit at a desk or even pull out our smart phones. An app-free interface. What if we could all just wear our interface on our sleeves? For around $350 he built a prototype of a wearable interface using a web cam, a mobile phone and mini projectors. All the controls can be operated through gestures such as drawing circles in the air. It makes for an interesting future.
While the thought of a sixth sense that allows us to merge our physical and digital worlds is interesting, it would be nice to have a seventh sense that allows us to control our physical and digital worlds. Nice weather and good health on command. Cheap airline tickets for our preferred destinations. Gridlock eliminated. And so much more. Now that’s where possibilities are endless.
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