Mistry debuts his vision for IT technology

Scientist showcases invisible computing that allows users to link the physical and digital worlds

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By  ITP.net Staff Writer Published  October 10, 2011

Pranav Mistry, the creator of invisible computing presented his vision for the future of IT technology at the Global Leaders Summit at GITEX TECHNOLOGY WEEK 2011.

Mistry, recently hailed as one of the top 15 scientists to watch in Asia and who has worked with global technology firms such as NASA, Google, UNESCO and Microsoft India, has turned technology on its head, inventing devices such as the invisible mouse, intelligent sticky notes, a pen able to write in 3D and glasses that allow up to five different people to watch different programmes on the same TV set at the same time.

Mistry has taken the physical objects usually related to IT, such as the laptop, tablet device, mouse and even the USB data cable and replaced them with the human body and gestures, using a variety of technologies including the cloud.

“Our solution to connect to the cloud is these devices, I thought that why can’t we have an alternate way to connect to this cloud, why can’t we look into the cloud, after all we are interested in the information and data inside this cloud?” said Mistry. “What can we do with this cloud so that we can interact directly with the virtual world?”

Mistry demonstrated one of his latest inventions, the ability to transfer documents, pictures, video, or any file type from one device to another using the human finger.

By tapping the document on the screen of one device with a finger, then tapping the screen of the device a user wants to send the information to with the same finger, the document or information is automatically transferred.

This removes the need for USB cables, Bluetooth, or even the new Near Field Communications technology currently debuting in many of the new smartphones in the market.

“My body is used as a token, passing data and content between the devices. When I copy a document, it is stored in my finger, if I have another person I want to share this with or even a big screen, I can do that,” said Mistry.

The inventor, who is still a student, is also working on a device that brings the digital world and the physical world together, allowing users to constantly digitally interact with the world around them.

Using a projector and a camera connected to the internet and the cloud, Mistry has created a prototype device that is designed to allow users to connect to the internet wherever they are using any flat surface, whether it is a wall, a piece of paper or the human hand.

The projector projects a digital user interface onto these surfaces, such as a phone keypad or touchscreen, which the user can then interact with like the physical object. The device is also intelligent and can read newspaper or book content and project relevant, up to date information about that media onto the page.

Mistry showed the example of a book in a library; the device scans the book cover and can retrieve information about that book, such as Amazon ratings, reader reviews and other books by the same author. All of this information is projected onto the book cover for the device user to see.

The device prototype is approximately two-inches square and can be worn around a user’s neck like a necklace. Mistry has projected that the device could retail for as little as $200.

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