Based on an idea software developer Simon Hallam sketched in a notebook back in 1997, the interactive coffee table is built on the idea of a Japanese Zen Garden but incorporates electronics and robotics that that sculpt geometric patterns and images into a field of microscopic silicone beads beneath a glass top in real-time, sort of like an Etch-a-Sketch.
But there’s more since uses can experiment and come up with their own designs and patterns simply by connecting their computer to the table or using a simple SD card. There’s even an app that can communicate with the table via a 3G modem, while SMS messages allows owners to interact with the table from practically anywhere.
Another cool aspect of the table is that it’s also environmentally friendly. It’s made from renewable bamboo that’s durable. The Zen Table is also constructed using tempered class and has internal lighting. Currently a Kickstarter project, there’s two version of the Zen Table: a large coffee table and smaller desktop version. Those that pledge $499 receive a complete kit with all the parts needed to build their own desktop version of a Zen Table, while $4,999 or more will get you a full-sized Zen Coffee Table.