One rather good use of the Microsoft’s Multitouch-cable Surface table would be to control you’re living room – which CRISTAL aims to achieve.

Control of Remotely Interfaced Systems using Touch-based Actions in Living spaces – or CRISTAL is a research project by the Media Interactions Lab backed by the Upper University of Austria of Applied Sciences. CRISTAL is a simple interface that allows you to take control of your digital living room by allowing a simple and intuitive touch based interface to your devices.

Like you can dim your lights by dragging on them on the coffee-table display and play movies stored in your HTPC by dragging and dropping them on the HDTV. Just watch the videos after the break to get a better idea.

Not that this isn’t Microsoft’s Surface, but still researches esitmate that it would cost about the same if put in production right now. It would be interesting if this project actually ends up as an application for Microsoft’s Surface instead. It would cut the development costs a lot, though don’t expect something like this to drop in you’re living room in the next five years.

Maybe we ought to use Project Natal to control things till then?

Anyways, here’s another video.