Tag Archives: iit

Sixth Sense!!

15 Dec

Reading the title, one might wonder this article to be a sci-fi story. Well, for those who think the way, you are quite wrong. When I first heard about it, I too thought it was a sci-fi movie. But it turns out to be one of the greateest inventions of man kind. The inventor is Pranav Mistry. Before we start with discussing about the device, let me tell you something about him. He did his  bachelors degree in Computer Science and Engineering. Palanpur , which is situated in northern Gujarat in India. He received his  Master in Media Arts and Sciences from MIT and Master of Design from IIT Bombay. Currently,He is a  Research Assistant and PhD candidate at the MIT Media Lab.

Now what is Sixth Sense ?

‘SixthSense’ is a wearable gestural interface that augments the physical world around us with digital information and lets us use natural hand gestures to interact with that information. – Courtesy pranav mistry.com

Thats how Pranav defines this little electronic device. 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.

The SixthSense prototype implements several applications that demonstrate the usefulness, viability and flexibility of the system. The map application lets the user navigate a map displayed on a nearby surface using hand gestures, similar to gestures supported by Multi-Touch based systems, letting the user zoom in, zoom out or pan using intuitive hand movements. The drawing application lets the user draw on any surface by tracking the fingertip movements of the user’s index finger. SixthSense also recognizes user’s freehand gestures (postures). For example, the SixthSense system implements a gestural camera that takes photos of the scene the user is looking at by detecting the ‘framing’ gesture. The user can stop by any surface or wall and flick through the photos he/she has taken. SixthSense also lets the user draw icons or symbols in the air using the movement of the index finger and recognizes those symbols as interaction instructions. For example, drawing a magnifying glass symbol takes the user to the map application or drawing an ‘@’ symbol lets the user check his mail. The SixthSense system also augments physical objects the user is interacting with by projecting more information about these objects projected on them. For example, a newspaper can show live video news or dynamic information can be provided on a regular piece of paper. The gesture of drawing a circle on the user’s wrist projects an analog watch.

For further details check out this video




Student Projects @ IIT Madras

14 Dec

Hello Readers!! Welcome to Ashwin’s blog! Before we get down reading the blog, let me introduce myself. I am Ashwin, a student of Mechanical Engineering at Indian Institute of Technology, Madras. In this article I am going to tell you guys something about projects that were assigned to us during our first semester. The projects were really interesting and mind-boggling! Let me tell you how the project came about. Every First Year has to take up a course called ID1100 in his first semester. ID1100 stands for Inter Disciplinary Course. I really dont know what 1100 stands for! The course comprises of Concepts in Engineering Design. Professors from various departments come and teach us few lectures on the design aspect of their field. It was a really fun course and we gota shallow introduction to most of the departments. During the course, there were two design competitions. We were asked to form teams and there was list of topics from which we had to select one and work on it. The Projects really tested one’s engineering skill and his design capabilities. I will share with you guys the list of project topics we got.

Design Competition I

1) Wireless Lamp – We had to build a lamp where the power source is not connected to the lamp by any physical contact.

2) Dustbin- In this we had to design a dustbin that had certain features and certain conditions to be met.

3) Multi Functional Desk – We had to build a multi funtional desk using scrap  materials

4) Paper Stool – We had to build a three legged stool entirely made of news paper and cellotape. It should bear an average person’s weight!!

5) Mouse Pointer- In this we had to write a computer program that will calculate the distance between two consecutive mouse clicks

Design Competiton II

1) Bi-Directional Entry Exit Counter.

2) Human pulse detector using photo diode

3) Balloon Powered Vehicle that will move in the shape of 8 with no human intervention

4) Boat which is not powered by any chemical source

5) Broomstick Bridge-the one which can withstand higher loads gets higher points

As you can see, each topic in both the design competition had various aspects of engineering design in every field. All the topics were extremly challenging and each one required considerable amount of research. As freshers, we learnt the meaning of real engineering and how hard it is to plan out a concept. We learnt that it was even harder to fabricate our plan. Overall this course developed in us a liking for engineering and gave us an insight into other fields of engineering.

I think every college and university should implement this course in every degree.

Thanks a lot for reading my article.

Hope you enjoyed it!!