Man Of The Moment: Pranav Mistry

Last week during a class of New Communication Technology, my classmates and I were introduced to a guy named Pranav Mistry. Here is a tiny bio of him:

Pranav Mistry is a PhD student in the Fluid Interfaces Group at MIT’s Media Lab. Before his studies at MIT, he worked with Microsoft as a UX researcher. Mistry is passionate about integrating the digital informational experience with our real-world interactions.

More information about him available here.

Little did we know, this will the person that will lead the revolution in future human interaction through project Sixth Sense. Here is a demo for TED 2009 where Pranav showcased his work:

The gift of decision making is inevitable as we move forward given the rapid rate of technological advancement. Imagine the amount of corporate responsibility this could inspire. If I can see the vital statistics about the companies I purchase my products from, which will aid me in my decision making on whether the product is of any worth according to my liking, then this could really change the way organizations run their businesses. This would almost eliminate monopolization by certain companies. Or does it?

However, who would be the gatekeeper controlling the flow of information to the gadget?

Pranav gave us an example with Amazon rating but what if I want to get another review? Will this just be another advertising playground for large organizations to take advantage of where they could just pay more to provide a better coverage for their product. If that happens, the purpose of providing more data about a certain product will be limited to the data these companies want you to know for their interests only.

The idea of tagging someone based on their activity on the web is pretty shallow in my opinion. We are much more than what we do, done or like on the net. Or is this just another clever marketing tool for the whole project? The question still remains, who is going to control the data and what is their purpose for doing so.

Apart from the controversial issues raised, he may just be the man of the century after he announced that he will release the codes for his Sixth Sense project to the public or more appropriately it would become an open source project.

Here are more pictures of Pranav Mistry from the recent TEDIndia 2009.

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