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Microsoft, Google in race to develop ‘smart’ glasses that may mimic Pranav Mistry's Sixth Sense

January 19 2017:  AN INDIATECHONLINE SPECIAL

 

IT giants have filed patent applications which indicate they may try to  go the Sixth Sense route signposted by MIT’s Pranav Mistry.

 

We have know for a year now that Google has been toying with the idea of adding augmented reality – or live images and info to the glasses worn by a user as he or she walks. It’s been called the Google Glass Project  and we have seen  images of prototype Google Glasses  all over the media.

Earlier  this week,  NBC News in the US announced that Google had made a new patent application that augments the company's Glass head-mounted computer with a laser projector, which can be used to project an interface on any nearby surface, including the user's own hand. It’s called Methods and Systems for a Virtual Input Device” and the  abstract  calls it “ A system and method to present a user wearing a head mounted display with supplemental information when viewing a live event. A user wearing an at least partially see-through, head mounted display views the live event while simultaneously receiving information on objects, including people, within the user's field of view, while wearing the head mounted display. The information is presented in a position in the head mounted display which does not interfere with the user's enjoyment of the live event.” Here is the full application document.

Late in 2012, Microsoft was also known to be racing along a similar track. We heard of their own patent application from a story in Business Insider which  said “ Microsoft's glasses seem to utilize augmented reality. In a patent illustration we've embedded below, you can see that the glasses put data on top of a live action concert and a ballgame.”

The Microsoft  patent submission  entitled “Event augmentation with real time information” described it thus: “A system and method to present a user wearing a head mounted display with supplemental information when viewing a live event. A user wearing an at least partially see-through, head mounted display views the live event while simultaneously receiving information on objects, including people, within the user's field of view, while wearing the head mounted display. The information is presented in a position in the head mounted display which does not interfere with the user's enjoyment of the live event.” Here is a link to their application.

 

It would seem that both Google and Microsoft in different ways are exploring the path signposted by Indian  researcher Pranav Mistry of MIT Media Labs whose  demo at the  2009 Ted conference in Bangalore  of what he calls Sixth Sense is now a You Tube sensation. It is uncanny how the  use of one’s own  palm as a  virtual keypad that he demonstrated 3  years and more, ago, is  visually so similar to the diagram in Google’s application. We carry that image in our illustration and you can view Pranav’s  15 minute talk here

 

This has been a heads up on what we do believe might be the  biggest technology breakthrough in  connecting people in 2013. And it does seem as if  some of the biggest efforts by IT’s biggies might just be inspired by Pranav’s    prediction of the coming Sixth Sense in computer- human interfaces.

 

 




    


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