TED2009: Pattie Maes


MIT Media Lab researcher Pattie Maes is on stage at TED2009.

We don't have sense organs for data. Thanks to efforts such as Tim Berner-Lee's all of this knowledge has become available online. Could we evolve a 6th sense that would give us access to meta-information that may help us make the right decisions?

When you go to supermarket and you look at all the different kinds of toilet papers, you don't pull out your cell phone to look for which brand is the most eco-friendly (but I'll bet some of you Boing Boing readers so!).

Pattie is wearing web-camera, a battery-powered projection system with mirror. It lets you walk up to any surface (including your hand) and interact with the projected interface. It responds to his gestures. If you hold your hands like you are taking a photo, the camera takes a photo, and then when you go back to the office, you can project all your photos and sort through them using natural gestures. She showed a projection of a phone keypad on her palm and dialed a number to make a call.

She shows a video of a guy looking at products in a supermarket. It projects a green, yellow, or red dot on a product, telling you whether or not it's eco-friendly (or whatever criteria you set up). If you look at a book, it'll project the Amazon rating on the book. Projecting a video of a news story on a blank rectangle on the Wall Street Journal!