Normally, we point at things to specify, or to emphasize, what we’re talking about. But a project from several MIT researchers aims to make pointing a way to learn more about the world around you—with a special ring on your index finger and a smartphone in your pocket. Called EyeRing, the finger-worn device allows you to point at an object, take a photo, and hear feedback about what it is you just focused on. The project is the brainchild of Pattie Maes, a professor in MIT’s Media Lab who studies interfaces that let us interact with digital information in novel, intuitive ways. Initially conceived as a potential aid for the visually impaired, the EyeRing could also work as a navigation or translation aid, or help children learn to read, say the researchers involved. The group is interested in eventually turning it into a commercial product.
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