At SXSW in Austin this week, an irresistible piece of future has been presented by Sony’s Future Lab. Named “Interactive Tabletop;” this prototype is actually a projector that converts any flat surface into a screen of lights to play on. Using depth sensors and motion tracking technology, this projector knows when things are put on the table and can even bring a storybook to life- reported The Verge.
The prototype was programmed to identify a copy of Lewis Carroll’s classic novel Alice in Wonderland. After opening the book, the camera and projector start interacting with the contents of the book. The drawings spring to life and literally jump off the page onto the table. They can be then dragged and moved to wherever you want. Also, you can highlight any passage from the book and see the words float out of the book.
Albeit it’s a prototype and the ability seems to be limited, it’s an interesting piece of technology with huge potential. It could be used as an educational tool to turn novels or engineering books into animated interactive lessons. Education would be more effective and fun then. Also, you could use it to play games in any environment. Most importantly, projectors like this could be engaged in the virtual reality and augmented reality ecosystem thus providing an additional layer of input. As Sony’s Future Lab projects are only prototypes, we are still not sure whether this cool piece of technology will ever leave the lab.