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Sony's Future Lab is a R&D group responsible for taking crazy ideas into the prototype phase, and one impressive vision shown here at SXSW in Austin this week is a projector that turns any flat surface into a screen for light to play on. The "Interactive Tabletop" concept uses depth sensors and motion tracking to know when objects are placed on the table and even bring storybooks to life. The project looks like a fully realized version of the augmented reality coffee table inventor and technologist Bastian Broecker constructed back in 2012 using a PlayStation Eye camera and a Microsoft Kinect sensor.
Sony programmed its prototype to recognize a copy of Lewis Carroll classic Alice in Wonderland. When the company's representative opens the book, it springs to life with animations that can be dragged off the page and then used to interact with a nearby physical objects like a teacup or deck of playing cards. The tabletop also responds to any finger press by tracking the direction of your hand, while hovering your fingers over any portion of the surface highlights the grid of light the projector uses to monitor your movements.