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Future of cooking: The interactive countertop

If you're tired of your countertops just sitting there doing nothing except holding up the stuff you pile on them, don't despair. If Intel Labs is right, soon your Formica will be interactive.

The Oasis countertop interacts with food placed on it.
Gives a whole new meaning to playing with your food. Intel

Forget about the future where we all walk around in silver unitards. How about a future where we dump a bunch of groceries on the counter and the counter tells us what we can make? That's the future kitchen user experience of Oasis, according to Intel Labs, which showed it off at the ninth annual Intel Research Day.

Oasis uses projected displays on everyday household surfaces, like kitchen countertops, to create interactive "islands." The technology lets you interact with an ordinary kitchen counter in a way that feels completely natural and intuitive. It's done by retrofitting cell phone-size 3D-depth-perceiving cameras and pico projectors into existing counters, walls, and so on--so no major remodel is needed. Once the equipment is in place, Oasis recognizes the objects placed on it and offers helpful hints, nutritional information, and recipes.

Check out this video for more on the philosophy, and to see an Oasis countertop in action.