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Published on May 11, 2007
Check out this mind-bending demo, Andy Wilson's PlayTogether surface computing system. Wilson's previous work on the PlayAnywhere interface used a table-top projection PC combined with an infrared camera to let virtual computer graphics interact with real-world objects in real time. The PlayTogether system builds on that concept, using two networked table-top systems to let people play a virtual game of chess in two locations, using real pieces and a real board on either end, with each player's opponent's pieces projected onto his board.
Wilson even demoed a three-dimensional variant of his table-top system (this project didn't even have a name) that allowed users to put three-dimensional objects on a table top, then drive a virtual computer-based car over them. As the car drove over each object, a separate LCD display showed a 3-D rendered car jumping over instant computer models of the real-world objects that had been placed in its path.