At the Vision 2009 conference, in Stuttgart, Sony has shown off a multitouch surface display called the Atractable that's rather like the Microsoft Surface controller,which offers coffee table computing.
The system has been developed between Sony ISS and Atracsys, a Swiss optical tracking company. The interface can analyse body movements and act on any gesture or change in position, including your body, arm, hand or finger. More intriguingly, Sony reckons that it's sensitive enough to work out a user's age, sex and "emotion" - recognising happiness, anger, surprise, sadness and neutrality.
The device comprises two Sony ISS XCD-V60 cameras that build a 3D image. Those cameras can then be used to control a cursor, avatar or robot. Atracsys' CEO, Gaetan Marti, says that the unit "can be used in virtually any scenario, be it gaming, industrial, medical or retail".
Sony ISS' marketing manager, Arnaud Destruels, told Pocket-lint: "Such interfaces were conceived many decades ago, with science fiction films using them to convey a futuristic feeling. The large time gap between conception and implementation highlights just how complex the task has been as well as the coding expertise at Atracsys".
And if the video above isn't enough for you, then there's another one, too. When we hear more about the Atractable's retail availability, we'll let you know.