Microsoft SecondLight Adds Extra Layers to Surface

Microsoft seems to be throwing every wild touchscreen idea it can into research right now, first prototyping their weird SideSight mobile phone motion detector earlier this week, and now revealing SecondLight, a "magic lens" compatriot to their Surface multitouch table. SecondLight allows users to slide a type of transparent screen on top of the regular Surface display, and see extra info displayed on the screen. For instance, using SecondLife over an image of a car turns it into x-ray specs that show model's wireframe underbelly.

SecondLight uses a switchable diffuser to bring about this effect. When diffuse, the lens is frosted, but applying electricity to the switch causes the lens to go clear. Sensors on Surface will then project specific images to the area SecondLight is occupying. It's a neat trick that adds even more functionality to the Surface, though I'd prefer if they were focusing more on making their table cheap enough for me to afford in the first place. [PC Mag]