Case in point: this video of the prototype Bonfire uses a system of cameras, lasers and mirrors to create to basically turn the space on your desk next to your laptop into a usable interface.
What makes the Bonfire project so interesting is that, rather than being a standalone interface like a touchscreen, it’s instead meant to augment your existing keyboard and mouse.
The system projects images onto your desk using lasers, turning the desk into an interface, where you can interact with symbols or images or videos.
Of course, expressed like that, it sounds sorta’ dry, right? But an example use included the system recognizing when you put your headphones down and pausing your music. Other usages could be using the interface to to pick photos from a mobile device you put down on the desk or having extra information in a game displayed on your desk rather than taking up space on the screen.
Just watch the vid – chances are you’ll be pretty impressed.