If you’ve seen the latest demos at Microsoft’s Center for Information Work or during some of the company’s more futuristic keynote addresses, you probably have seen a system that can turn a tabletop into a computer display and user interface. That technology may be closer than it originally appeared. Known as “PlayAnywhere,” the Microsoft-Research-developed “surface computing” software was on display at this week’s Microsoft Research Faculty Summit. As Microsoft always notes, there is no guarantee if or when a research technology will morph into a commercial one. But the fact that PlayAnywhere exists at all is interesting.