Pranav Mistry, a student at MIT Media Lab, has created something that will change your world in a few years: A wearable device that allows you to interact with the web while you walk through reality. His mockup (demoed above by Pattie Maes) uses about $350 of off-the-shelf components — a small projector, camera and mirror hung from the user’s neck, and a cell phone with wireless internet access. The simple combination allows you to match images from the real world around you with cloud-based profile information, to find out if the tissue paper in the grocery store is good for the environment or whether your new college roommate likes to snowboard.
It all reminds us of a recent William Gibson book in which the protagonist, an über-hip-former-rocker journalist, uncovers an underground world of techies who are melding the virtual world with reality. As Gibson notes, most of us are already using virtual reality by sitting in front of computers for hours a day, but we’re trapped, unable to touch the information behind the screen. The next step will be unhinging virtual information to let it float over the reality we see outside our windows.
Via Eric Gonzalez.