I originally picked this stuff up on the BOLT Blog. Whether you are a real “gear head” or a wannabe “gear head” like myself, gestural technologies are expanding and need to be understood in context of digital signage, especially as this industry continues to gain traction. Before I talk about it, you need to watch the video.
The organizations website gives a bit more detail:
The SixthSense prototype is comprised of a pocket projector, a mirror and a camera. The hardware components are coupled in a pendant like mobile wearable device. Both the projector and the camera are connected to the mobile computing device in the user’s pocket. The projector projects visual information enabling surfaces, walls and physical objects around us to be used as interfaces; while the camera recognizes and tracks user’s hand gestures and physical objects using computer-vision based techniques. The software program processes the video stream data captured by the camera and tracks the locations of the colored markers (visual tracking fiducials) at the tip of the user’s fingers using simple computer-vision techniques. The movements and arrangements of these fiducials are interpreted into gestures that act as interaction instructions for the projected application interfaces. The maximum number of tracked fingers is only constrained by the number of unique fiducials, thus SixthSense also supports multi-touch and multi-user interaction.
Hand gestures allow you to control digital information on nearly any surface you can imagine. The SixthSense device will allow you to interact in the physical universe with a virtual camera and simple hand gestures. The hand gestures control what the camera is able to do. You can take a picture, scan a product code, do a web search, and even make a phone call without ever taking anything out of your pocket. The device has a projector that can even allow for simple photograph editing by projecting the image onto any surface.
Do you want to watch a movie or play a video game? The device mimics, in may respects smartphones like the iPhone and the Droid with multi-touch and gestural combined into one. The software is being released as open source and the hardware will cost about $300. They want to be able to take this technology to the masses of humanity around the globe. Eventually individuals will be able to determine and create their own digital out-of-home experience and not have to rely on signage networks to do it for them.