Sixth Sense

Van Mensvoort
September 25th 2009

Although this TED video has been all over the web and commented on this website already, it still deserves a separate post: Desigineers Pattie Maes and Pranav Mistry of the MIT Media Lab – Fluid Interfaces Group envision a 'Sixth Sense' a wearable gestural interface to pave the way for a more profound interaction with our environment by augmenting it with digital information. The next nature thinking in their argument is striking:

We've evolved over millions of years to sense the world around us. When we encounter something, someone or some place, we use our five natural senses to perceive information about it; that information helps us make decisions and chose the right actions to take. But arguably the most useful information that can help us make the right decision is not naturally perceivable with our five senses, namely the data, information and knowledge that mankind has accumulated about everything and which is increasingly all available online.

Hence, they propose to blend all cultural information within the environment as a natural phenomenon. Culture becomes nature. Our environment becomes the interface again.

Of course, like with every emerging next nature, there is always an older nature lost: You'll never be able to meet new people without immediately googling them.

Related: On the Road, Augmented phone browsingAvatar Machine, Datafountain, A Society of Simulations. Thanks Ton & Arnoud.

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Should men be able to give birth to children?


Koert van Mensvoort: Is the artificial womb frankenstein-like symbol of (male) engineers trying to steal the magical womb from women? Or… is it a feminist project and needed to reach through equality between the sexes? I personally lean towards the latter. To me it feels like progress if a girl can tell a guy to carry the womb for a change.

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