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MIT Researchers Create a Cheap "6th Sense" Device 125

Posted by timothy
from the it-will-tickle-your-fancy-if-you-tell-it-to dept.
thefickler writes "MIT researchers have combined a mobile projector with a webcam and mobile phone to create a device that draws information from the environment. For example, the gadget recognizes products on store shelves and can provide product and price comparison information. The sixth-sense device was cobbled together from common parts costing just $300. While the gadget is not being primed for mass release, it represents a forward-thinking way of blending technology with our environment."
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MIT Researchers Create a Cheap "6th Sense" Device

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  • More like (Score:3, Insightful)

    by SupremoMan (912191) on Thursday February 05, 2009 @07:37PM (#26745933)
    The 6th sense is what the corporation gets by tracking your ever query.
  • Re:Well I'm stoked (Score:5, Insightful)

    by DriedClexler (814907) on Thursday February 05, 2009 @07:37PM (#26745937)

    Yeah, it's ridiculous to call this a "sixth sense". Reading information from a hand-held device is not an additional sense.

    Now, if we were still living 100+ years ago, when people were far more limited in what information they had access to at any given time, *maybe* you could get away with saying this is another sense. But considering that cognitive science researchers -- many probably at MIT -- have had significant success in giving people genuine additional senses (i.e. allow them to observe the world in some way without directly being told the information or thinking aboug it), it's extremely misleading.

    For example, one time on slashdot there was a story about how scientists fed a compass-like transducer into some guy's nervous system, which allowed him to just "know" about changes in the earth's magnetic field or nearby magnets. And in Jeff Hawkins's On Intelligence, he talks about an experiment where they mapped a low-res black/white camera to an array of rods on someone's tongue that push down for black and let up for white, which allow the subject to see without his own eyes.

    Those are new senses. This device isn't.

  • Minor pet peeve (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Reality Master 101 (179095) <RealityMaster101 ... m ['gma' in gap]> on Thursday February 05, 2009 @07:37PM (#26745945) Homepage Journal

    I already have a sixth external sense... it's the sense of acceleration in my inner ear, colloquially known as the sense of balance. That one's just as important as the other senses.

    Of course, there are other more minor senses that are subsets of the sense of touch, like heat and cold, which are actually different mechanisms, but those are arguable as truly separate senses. There's also the sense of body position, whose name escapes me, but that's not an external sense.

    What was TFA about, again? :)

  • Re:Eyetap... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by davester666 (731373) on Thursday February 05, 2009 @07:54PM (#26746125) Journal

    From the summary: "can provide product and price comparison information...the gadget is not being primed for mass release"

    Hm, I can't understand why retailers would never stock such a product.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 05, 2009 @08:20PM (#26746401)

    It's a device NAMED 6th Sense device... That's what they called the project.

    You are acting like they claim to have FOUND a 6th sense...

    Seriously, over-thinking is a sign of lesser intelligence.

  • Sixth Sense!? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Vertana (1094987) on Thursday February 05, 2009 @08:29PM (#26746485) Homepage

    Am I the only one who read the headline and said MIT created a way to see dead people!? Of course it would be MIT...

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