Research Assistant, MIT Media Lab
Mistry, 29, invented SixthSense, a platform that uses a small camera to read and follow users' gestures.
"In computing, everything happens inside this rectangular screen. I want to get the pixels out, paint the world, and allow us to interact with it. The system can turn anything into an interactive surface, from a table in Starbucks to the palm of your hand. There are endless consumer applications, but what excites me is how this can help people. A man who cannot speak communicates with sign language, but the average person doesn't know that language. SixthSense, if equipped with speakers, can recognize the gestures and form the words — it will speak for him. We are giving him a sixth sense that he was missing."
A version of this article appeared in the May 2010 issue of Fast Company magazine.