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The Future is Now… Almost

by mib24 | January 2, 2010January 2, 2010 4:59 pm PDT

A few weeks ago, TechnoBuffalo posted a YouTube video created by Microsoft showing what technology might look like in 2019. I think a lot of people were fascinated (or amused) by this video, as evidenced by the volume of comments. And those comments were all over the map, ranging from the enthusiastic (“That would be amazing”) to the slightly morbid (“we’ll all be dead by then anyway”). Most of the comments said the technology looks great, but that it might be unrealistic to expect it by 2019… especially at a price feasible for everyday users. Generally I’m optimistic about humankind’s ability to innovate, and after seeing the explosion in technology over the past 15-20 years, I believe anything is possible. Still, I couldn’t help but think that some of what was shown is a bit ambitious.

One user, xenochrophis, commented that technology already in operation is similar to many of the concepts shown in this video, referring to SixthSense. Ironically, the same day I watched the Microsoft vid, a friend sent me a link to a video demonstrating this very impressive new technology. Created by a PhD candidate at MIT, Pranav Mistry, SixthSense, uses cameras, projectors, and other inexpensive, portable hardware to produce rudimentary features remarkably similar to those found in the Microsoft video.

In this video, the inventor explains the motivation behind his work and demonstrates where the technology is today. He says the cost to replicate his system is about $200, and he’s making all of the technology available open to the public. So, to all of the 2019 naysayers… does this change anyone’s mind?