The Japanese tech giant, Sony has started up what they call the “Wow Factory” in a warehouse on Trinity in Austin. The team of Future Lab by Sony have developed some very creative concepts and prototypes out there. This team is created to research and develop weird and cool hardware and take it to the prototype phase. This allows researchers to think more about human interaction and work creatively.
This year at SXSW the team showcased an impressive smart projector that turns any flat surface with exception of glass in to an interactive display. The concept projector is known as ‘Interactive Tabletop’.
Sony has equipped its prototype with depth sensors and motion tracking to know when the object is placed on a table, it can even bring story book to life with cool animations and lets you interact with the story.
The Sony’s representative demonstrated the concept of the projector by bringing illustration of “Alice in Wonderland” by Lewis Carol in to life. The projector highlighted the black and white drawings on the page and added colors. The Alice was now in a blue and white colored dress and was ready for a cup of tea with the white rabbit.
The Alice was then dragged off the page and was guided the path to the teacup. The objects respond to your finger press and track the direction of your hand while you hover your finger to any other highlighted portion of the table. The representative then placed a deck of playing cards on the table, which grew red roses. Tapping a bloom changed it into one of the Queen of Hearts’ playing-card defender.
The projector continuously monitors your hand movements and displays some beautiful animations when you interact with the nearby objects on the table.
A few other features were also demonstrated like the representative began sketching a rainbow on the table which almost immediately disappeared. This feature would appeal artists and creative professionals. Another key feature of this projector was that it has the ability to determine depth. You can also construct virtual homes out of wooden blocks and manipulate the scene by adding lights and physical objects that can transform into virtual trees.
The ‘Interactive Tabletop’ uses Sony’s proprietary SXRD technology and laser light technology so that you don’t need to adjust the focus, images will always be crisp and in focus automatically.
Although this projector is only a concept and is practically limited, it is not hard to imagine to see this project or in future giving life to story books and novels and turn them into exciting interactive lessons. This projector is up to Sony as how they shape this technology when it will come to the consumer.