Just saw this, a video/interview with Jeff Han, a researcher? student? at New York University. The company he co-founded for this is Perceptive Pixel, which has another video showing more of the same. He’s working with a large “media wall” (3ft x 8ft) on which you can manipulate images and other user interface elements with hands (both hands at once–multitouch). This seems even cooler than Microsoft’s surface, since I can imagine, if the cost ever comes down, that we could have these “walls” hanging around on our, err, walls, and just walk up and interact with them, rather than having to sit down with the thing. The amount of space available also seems cool–you can just push elements over to the side, walk from one area to another, etc.
I wonder what it would/will take to make this available to regular consumers, and also what sort of operating system and software support you need. If the market remains too small, we won’t see investment from software and hardware developers, putting the burden on the manufacturer–which not only limits the pace of innovation, but also restricts the amount of experimentation possible when the market is larger and the barrier to entry is lower, or the incentive to enter the market is greater.
What might be cool is to develop this as a “kit” technology which allows me to work against a normal wall, or maybe a whiteboard, so that I don’t need a dedicated TV/monitor. That might encourage more people to try it out and potentially expand the market somewhat.