While the dominance of our robot overlords is a future inevitability, hopefully we can enjoy some Tron and Minority Report-inspired tech before a few terminators take over the world.  Thanks to the work of Bastian Broecker, we may be one step closer to that reality.

Broecker crossed console war lines to combine the tech of Microsoft‘s Kinect and the PlayStation Eye to build a 3D augmented reality coffee table.  Implementing head-tracking software, Broecker has built a system that displays a 3D environment – at this point merely a wire grid layout – but as his video shows, he is creating simple geometric buildings with different textures, and the table responds to his position relative to it in order to portray the depth properly.  Too much explanation fails to do the project justice – check out his video below to understand the entirety of his project, including a look behind the scenes at the hardware.

It’s great to see the hardware to which we’ve become so accustomed used in new and exciting ways to push the technology we currently have. Granted, as Ubergizmo notes, Microsoft already has a device similar to this, the Microsoft Surface, but the use of gaming tech and Broecker’s attention to making it more of a building platform and less of a simple screen is incredibly exciting.  Hopefully this incites some designers to engineer this software at a more sophisticated level.  It often takes a little ingenuity like this to advance the technology we currently have, but I can only hope Broecker continues to work on this table and piques the interest of fellow enthusiasts.