A researcher at MIT's Fluid Interfaces Lab has developed the Reality Editor app, which links together physical objects and lets you manipulate their functionality. Inside the app, an augmented reality overlay displays an object's features when you point a smartphone's camera at it. Let's say you wanted to automatically change the temperature in your house when you hop in bed for the night. All you would have to do is point the app at the thermostat, then use it to draw/swipe a circuit-like connection to your "smart" bed.
Reality Editor uses QR-like codes to identify smart gadgets. In the future, this won't be a requirement as the app will be able to identify the objects when they're viewed with the app.
From now on you will use your spatial coordination and muscle memory to operate the object next to your bed as a tool for controlling the light.
"If you want a timer linked to the light, just borrow the functionality of an object with a timer, such as a TV, by drawing a line from it to the light," Heun aded.
The Reality Editor is build with open, resistant and commonly known standards. Every visual interface is based on html5 and therefore leverages the creative power of the web. This means that the Reality Editor transforms the identical web browsing technologies used for presenting you this article into an interface for the physical space. In addition, connection between objects uses the most open and stable internet standards.
The Reality Editor is a result of three years of MIT research.
"The goal of our research is the creation of technology that grants the user maximum control by leveraging human strength such as spatial coordination, muscle memory and tool-making," says Valentin Heun.
This all sounds like science fiction. But you can download the Reality Editor in the App Store and use an open source platform called Open Hybrid to build a new generation of Hybrid Objects. This vision is not only for the DIY designer and engineers, but is also fully feasible for the next generation of high-tech users.