No, that's not an LCD screen pretending to be a zen garden. That's sand (well, tiny silicon beads) under a glass sheet, with images being sculpted into the grains by a programmable robot that lives underneath. If you think it's the most beautiful piece of furniture you've ever seen, you're in luck — its currently a Kickstarter project you can be involved in, so you can eventually have your very own.
Simon Hallam, of California, spent his savings building a table-sized prototype of his so-called "Zen Table" and coding the logic behind its mechanical artist. It's based on a notebook sketch from 1997, so it's taken Simon a little while to get his project off the ground.
He's planning to sell two versions — a full-sized one, like in the video, and a desktop version that's a lot more portable. Hallam says the coffee table model works well, capable of sculpting smooth lines, but the desktop one still requires some "development time and love".
For the table, renewable bamboo is used in the construction of the body, which measures roughly 142 x 99 x 50cm, while a 80mm sheet of tempered glass keeps the beads out of harm's way. An optional 3G modem allows the upload of new sculpting programs and the ability to control the table using your phone. If you're not into wireless, you can use a USB cable or SD card instead.
The desktop version closely matches the table's specs, but it's smaller at 33 x 24 x 6cm and can only support USB or SD for loading in new info.
As I write this, it's already exceeded the asked-for amount of $US25,000 and only an hour of fundraising remains, so don't sit around if you're keen!