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Mary Jo Foley reports that Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) will unveil its PlayTable technology this week and the potential applications should be interesting.

Mary Jo notes:

PlayTable — which also has gone by the codenames “Table” and, most recently, “Project Milan” — is a multi-touch, gestural- and object-recognition interface technology on which Microsoft has been laboring for the past few years.

Many of us have seen Microsoft demo this technology at various events. It’s neat for sure, but I typically dismissed it as a labs thing with no real-world application. Obviously, Microsoft has something in mind for PlayTable. A few thoughts on what PlayTable would be good for:

  • Games: Pong with your hand is a no-brainer. Wii sports could look downright primitive.
  • Collaboration: If you could use hand gestures you could share documents and work on them as you would if you were in the same room.
  • Hardware: Who needs hardware? Could you use this hand gesture technology to rid yourself of keyboards?
  • A complement to Windows Home Server: Let’s say you have all your documents stored on the Home Server. You give it a “peace” sign or something silly and make your pictures appear.

One thing is certain, this technology is likely to be geared toward consumers. If enterprises are taking their sweet time with Vista they aren’t likely to hop on the PlayTable bandwagon any time soon.

Source: What Does Microsoft Have In Mind For PlayTable?