Could it be that the traditional multitouch table has become passé? After various iterations of DIY and commercial products - not forgetting Microsoft's own Surface, of course - the challenge moves on to better controlling 3D visualisations through a more flexible interface than a flat screen. Into the fray steps French firm Immersion with their iliGHT project, using a cube controller to better manipulate 3D environments.
Video demos after the cut
In the first demo video below, using the cube controller to manipulate Google Earth, rotating and zooming is handled by multitouch movements on the top surface, while movements on the sides of the cube adjust the angle of the visualisation. Rather, therefore, than requiring key modifiers to change the interpretation of a gesture on a 2D multitouch table, or requiring non-intuitive gestures be memorized, the user can manipulate the environment in a more instinctive way.
Of course, a fantastic new controller is no use at all if there's not the products to be controlling it with, and that's the next step for Immersion: to get the iliGHT cube out with a compelling feature set. Until then, we'll just have to keep pawing at our dull old 2D multitouch tables.