If you've ever read a book on an e-reader, unleashed your inner rock star playing Guitar Hero, built a robot with LEGO Mindstorms, or ridden in a vehicle with child-safe air bags, then you've experienced first hand just a few of the astounding innovations that have come out of the Media Lab over the past 25 years. But that's old hat for today's researchers, who are creating technologies that will have a much deeper impact on the quality of people's lives over the next quarter century.
In this exhilarating tour of the Media Lab's inner sanctums, we'll meet the professors and their students - the sorcerers and their apprentices - and witness first hand the creative magic behind inventions such as:
- Nexi, a mobile humanoid robot with such sophisticated social skills she can serve as a helpful and understanding companion for the sick and elderly
- CityCar, a foldable, stackable, electric vehicle of the future that will redefine personal transportation in cities and revolutionize urban life
- Sixth Sense, a compact wearable device that transforms any surface - wall, tabletop or even your hand - into a touch screen computer
- PowerFoot, a lifelike robotic prosthesis that enables amputees to walk as naturally as if it were a real biological limb
Through inspiring stories of people who are using Media Lab innovations to confront personal challenges - like a man with cerebral palsy who is unable to hum a tune or pick up an instrument yet is using an ingenious music composition system to unleash his "inner Mozart", and a woman with a rare life-threatening condition who co-invented a revolutionary web service that enables patients to participate in the search for their own cures - we'll see how the Media Lab is empowering us all with the tools to take control of our health, wealth, and happiness.
©2011 Frank Moss (P)2011 Random House Audio