Although Pattie Maes doesn’t know of me, I have known of her for over a decade now, since I started my career looking at intelligent agents in the AI group at the Telstra Research Labs. I haven’t been paying any attention to her stuff recently, which turns out to be a bit of an oversight, as her stuff is just so incredible cool.
Her Fluid Interfaces Group has produced a prototype of something they call SixthSense. There’s a demo of it in the video below, from when she spoke at the recent TED conference.
It does pose the question though – if we could pick another sense to add to our existing five, what would it be? I think I’d like to have an electromagnetic sense, able to detect the direction of north, and avoid hammering into power cables in the walls. Or maybe I’d pick “spider sense”, if I didn’t have to wear the costume that came with it.
SixthSense is not really another sense, but more of an augmented reality tool, that supplements the world around us with information we wish was there.