Turns out Sony is experimenting with that idea because during the recent South by Southwest Interactive (SXSW), Sony introduced a prototype projector that can turn any flat surface into a touch-sensitive display. To top things off, it also comes with a depth sensor so that the projector will be able to see what has been placed on the table, and in turn offer up information about it.
The “Interactive Tabletop” can also recognize various objects that are placed on a flat surface. In the demo at SXSW, the Interactive Tabletop recognized when a copy of Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland was placed on the table. Light projection of its characters then sprang to life from the projector, and those projections could then be dragged around the table with a user’s finger.
Sony’s new device isn’t something the company has said it plans to commercialize at this time. It’s simply a prototype. Indeed, right now the commercial uses for such a device seem limited to simple gaming or entertainment applications. However, the concept does bode well for a future where we can interact with light-projected holograms as easily as we interact with physical objects today.