We have covered a few smart sand interfaces in the past. This Augmented Reality Sandbox built for Sanford’s Pop-Up Science Art and Technology Museum is a real sandbox with virtual topography and water that relies on a Kinect camera and a data projector to provide users with an interactive, augmented reality experience. This particular system allows users to create topography models by shaping real sand, which is augmented in real-time by an elevation color map, simulated water, and other data.
The AR Sandbox can be used to teach geography and science. The sandbox hardware was made by Peter Gold of the UC Davis Department of Geology. The software is based on the Vrui VR development toolkit. The above video shows how it works.