Sixth Sense Technology: Exploring Future Opportunities in Human Computer Interaction

Sixth Sense Technology: Exploring Future Opportunities in Human Computer Interaction

Zeenat S. AlKassim (United Arab Emirates University, UAE) and Nader Mohamed (United Arab Emirates University, UAE)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-0435-1.ch008


In this chapter, the authors discuss a unique technology known as the Sixth Sense Technology, highlighting the future opportunities of such technology in integrating the digital world with the real world. Challenges in implementing such technologies are also discussed along with a review of the different possible implementation approaches. This review is performed by exploring the different inventions in areas similar to the Sixth Sense Technology, namely augmented reality (AR), computer vision, image processing, gesture recognition, and artificial intelligence and then categorizing and comparing between them. Lastly, recommendations are discussed for improving such a unique technology that has the potential to create a new trend in human-computer interaction (HCI) in the coming years.
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Reviews on the Sixth Sense Technology were mostly positive upon its introduction in media. Arora (2012) described the Sixth Sense Technology as that which upon emergence into market may lead to evolvement of new devices and hence new markets. It could be a big help to people with special needs or could help control machineries in industries, as suggested by the author. However, the author concludes that security threats and other issues are yet to be considered when releasing this technology. In a different review, the authors suggested combining the concepts of Augmented Reality and Sixth Sense in order to come up with new and better gadgets that allow humans to be machine-free (Raghupatruni, Nasam & Lingam, 2013). As they mentioned in their paper, “With the advent of sixth sense technology, if it can have its roots into all the fields we can expect things to happen in a much better way” (p. 39). They explain in details the implementation steps of Sixth Sense Technology in schools and show how time spent in performing tasks is reduced significantly in places like exams and libraries. On the other hand, they explain how some issues are to be tackled with like cost and security threats when implementing this new technology in public places. Singh (2015) conducted his dissertation work on Sixth Sense Technology. In his work, he brought into light the different uses of this technology. It is unique, as mentioned by the author, in the fact that a Sixth Sense Device allows computing and task performing on any nearby surface. However, he also brought into light the challenges that stand as a wall blocking the full implementation of the discussed technology, like security and health concerns, and hardware improvement of the Sixth Sense device. Overall, though many researchers who found the technology of Sixth Sense it to be promising, they suggested further improvements and the addressing of its shortcomings before implementation in real life.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Ray Picking: The technique of selecting an object in the surroundings by casting a virtual ray on it through the mobile screen.

Natural Feature Tracking: A tracking technique that works by determining the pose relative to a known surface in the surrounding environment.

On-the-Fly Reconstruction: A method of regenerating a new physical environment, like viewing a virtual sofa in a physical living room.

Fiducial Markers: Certain patterns designed on objects, like black and white bar codes, that help in object detection or tracking.

Tangible Interaction: A method by which the physical object itself is moved.

Augmented Reality: The technology of viewing of virtual elements overlaid on the real world with the help of computer processing.

Global Localization Systems: A method of determining the position relative to a large environment constructed by 3D.

Embodied interaction: A technique by which users interact with virtual objects through touching the device screen.

Registration: A measure of how the virtual world is integrated onto the real world.

Layered Pie Menu: The method where moving towards or away from the object opens up several menus from which to select.

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