by Shahram Izadi, Steve Hodges, Stuart Taylor, Dan Rosenfeld, Nicolas Villar, Alex Butler, and Jonathan Westhues
Second Light is an interactable display tabletop that uses switchable diffusers for simultaneous projection on and through the surface without contamination. It uses FTIR (Fourier Transform Infrared spectroscopy) multi-touch on the surface and on a secondary surface display above the tabletop for input.
How It Works:
The idea is there are two projectors that project two different images only out of phase with each other and the tabletop diffuser will turn opaque and clear at the same frequency of the projectors so that one projector will show up on the tabletop when the diffuser is opaque and the other projector will show up on a second cheap hand-held page above the tabletop display. Hand-held displays can have an FTIR battery operated device attached to it so that input can also be made on the separate display held above the tabletop.
I had already stumbled apon this prior to reading this article when I was "youtubeing" Microsoft Surface via the videos posted below. The technology has a lot of potential assuming developers utilize all its capabilities. My concerns right now are the expense (which is something ridiculous like $12k or something) and the fact that Microsoft has their hands on it, which typically means developers will be forced to try to develop apps for it with their hands tied behind their backs.