From the article:
Board games are already experiencing a renaissance as they move from the tabletop to the desktop (think Lexulous and Scrabble), but researchers from Canada's Queen's University are trying to further advance the ol' board game with a technology that essentially turns each piece into a graphics-saturated mini-display, thus merging the tangible aspects of board games with software-generated action normally seen in strategy games such as World of Warcraft.
rest of article http://news.cnet.com/8301-17938_105-10441005-1.html.
Some information RE: the video at the bottom of the article. The demonstration is using a technology called "front projected fiducial recognition". This is a form of multi touch computing. A camera placed above the table sends tracking data to the computer telling it the location and orientation of each tile. An image is then projected down onto each tile.
This is pretty basic technology used in a number of different applications such as interactive dance floors, projected architectural plans, etc. The white paper linked in the article also discusses a different technology that they anticipate in the future which is making the tiles out of flexible OLED displays instead of using projected images. I mention this in case anyone is confused. The video is a "proof of concept" using a projector, but the technology would ultimately be small OLED displays.
BTW, this kind of stuff that really fascinates me because I own a company that builds multitouch computers. We use a different display technology than what's presented here, but there are a lot of similarities. I'm aware of other MT developers who are working on miniature/RPG style games for MT but, as you've probably guessed, these are primarily for demonstration purposes since a small MT setup starts at $5K and goes up from there. I'm excited about the possibilities for the future however and am always on the lookout for the next MT application.