The demo kind of falls apart when they start poking around Windows, but Displax's new 40-inch diameter Multitouch Globe looks like an absolute joy when it comes to navigating interactive maps. It's just too bad it's a bit impractical.

Like any display that's not a flat surface, Displax's globe uses a projector with a fisheye lens so the images don't look warped on its curved surface. So if you were hoping for a dash-mounted GPS unit in the shape of a 3D globe, I'm afraid the technology used here just wouldn't make that happen.

The globe does show off Displax's capacitive multitouch technology which is now a flexible polymer film that can be applied to curved surfaces, letting users interact with them just like they would with their smartphone. Up to six points of touch can be recognized at one time, facilitating pinch zooms and other gestures. The system is first being unveiled at an upcoming tradeshow in Amsterdam, but by the end of the year I'm sure we'll see these popping up in museums, on set of your local evening news, and in super-villain lairs. [Displax via Ubergizmo]