Pranav Mistry and augmented reality

My usual source of information (i.e. Twitter links) has led me to two exciting and interesting developments in mobile technology recently.

As I pointed out in my last post, I believe that mobile technology will be the real development of the next decade. That mobile phones with immense power will eventually break down the barriers that schools have put up against them.

I have already seen this start to happen when I saw a recent video which showed children using the ipod touch in a school http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/8407014.stm. This showed the potential of the new mobile technology that we have now, no mind what we might achieve by the year 2020.

Another fascinating example of the augmentation of reality was seeing a brilliant talk on TED by an amazing young inventor and engineer called Pranav Mistry. This is his development of what is being called “Sixth sense”.

To get a real feel for what this is about you will need to see the TEd talk which I have put in my list of personal top 10 TED Talks elsewhere in this blog. The talk can be seen here:

I would also suggest reading Pranav’s own web-site s i x t h s e n s e – a wearable gestural interface (MIT Media Lab)

I feel that these two developments will really have an impact on education in the next ten years. When I first saw Mistry’s Sixth Sense gear it looked very much like science fiction but then I thought, if I could go back to January 1st 2000 would i have conceived of a small handheld instrument that had internet capacity and pupils  could communicate with other and with pupils throughout the world, could access information from so many different sources, could use it to calculate and interpret data.

The key issue here was the foresight of the school’s Principal to let this powerful technology into the school and give the pupils the chance to use it. As he said in the B.B.C. interview “the pupils deserve to have the very latest technology so as they can compete in this world”.

I feel he is the sort of person who will use the Sixth Sense technology in his school as well as make use of whatever other powerful developments come our way in the coming decade.

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