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MIT Team Shows 'Sixth Sense' Wearable Computer

MIT researchers have finally invented a wearable computer that doesn't make you look like a complete dork.

The secret? Getting rid of the screen and keyboard, according to Agence France-Presse.

Instead, what the MIT team calls the "sixth sense" device, or rather series of devices, projects what you need to see or use onto any flat surface, which you can then use as a screen or keyboard.

The system's made up of $350 worth of off-the-shelf parts: a Webcam, a Web-connected smartphone and a mini-projector, all hooked up to each other. They're worn around your neck or, if you're willing to look a bit dumb, on your head.

Want to take a picture of what you're looking at? Make a square with your fingers -- the Webcam will snap a photo.

Need to see the time? Make a circle with your fingers, and the projector will beam a clock face down on it.

"Other than letting some of you live out your fantasy of looking as cool as Tom Cruise in 'Minority Report,'" developer Pattie Maes told an audience at the TED conference in Long Beach, Calif., on Wednesday, "it can really let you connect as a sixth sense device with whatever is in front of you."

The system can also project a keyboard for you to type on, spot items on store shelves and compare their online prices or give you the day's newspapers to be read on a blank flat space in front of you.

"It is very much a work in progress," said Maes. "Maybe in ten years we will be here with the ultimate sixth-sense brain implant."

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