Saving the world on Earth Day

TED Device.JPGToday is Earth Day and the gadget world is not very Earth-friendly but maybe it can help. Pattie Maes, an associate professor in MIT’s Program in Media Arts and Sciences, has been outlining her mind-blowing research programme that aims to make mobile personal computing amazingly useful.

TED Hand.jpgThe Sixth Sense project is looking at what could be described as a mobile version of Microsoft Surface but instead of using an expensive table the system projects an image of the computer information onto any handy surface – it may even be your hand.

It doesn’t look very  pretty at the moment but it is only a cobbled-together prototype and not a finished product. Even so, it only costs $350 (£240) which is about a fiftieth of the cost of either Microsoft Surface or Epson’s X-Desk.

How will this save the world? Well, apart from making LCD screens unnecessary, when you enter a supermarket it could detect the product barcode and give you all the information on sourcing of the ingredients to see if they are as Earth-friendly as they claim. Tenuous, I know, but you try to find an Earth-friendly gadget. I’d be delighted to hear about it.

Actions speak louder so here’s a video of Maes presentation to the TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design) conference earlier this year.