taken off http://www.livingroom.org.au/photolo.../nikon_d80.php
3D Colour Matrix Metering II automatic exposure control ensures ideal exposures in most lighting conditions. It evaluates brightness, colour, contrast, selected focus area and camera-to-subject distance. The system references the data against an expanded onboard database created using data from more than 30,000 actual photographic scenes to instantly and accurately calculate the final exposure value for the shot. Variable centre-weighted metering and spot metering centered on the active focus area are also available.
quite hard to find for other camera. considering d80 already have more than 30k actual photographic scenes database, may guess is pro-level camera bodies (regardless of brand) will have more. some camera now incorpreate face recognition technology also which i think is also link to metering system.
like a fellow (pro-level) cser once told me, he compared exposure he gets from using multi-spot and the evaluative metering mode, difference is often less than 1/2stop.
but using this as example, with current state of the art compact digital and dslr, do we still need spot, multi-spot or light meters?
if we combine this with focusing screen with grid-lines to help you to compose (like d70) to the rule of thumb "rule of the third", can you imagine cameras of the future taking over 90% of the work. all a photog needs to do is to compose such that the subject coincide with the "third" and press fire away.
we have technology to make product safer (as in air-bag, predictive system to know the car is going to be out of control) and easier to use, to what level do we want to go to? a car that drive on it, a camera that takes photo for you?
look at the high tech production lines for cars and cnc machines (precision machines), only less than 10 tech taking care for the whole shop floor over 24hr (10 yrs ago already like that).