A brand new Japanese prototype offers users the ability to manipulate real 3D forms, employing a touch interface with a squeezy, rubbery feel.
From New Scientist:
"The system is based on a large LCD panel built into a tabletop. Users interact with it by moving objects sculpted in transparent rubber over its surface, or by poking or deforming them to produce particular effects.
The team has demonstrated the technology through some simple applications. In one of these, a rubber face sits above an image of a face on the LCD; squeezing the rubber features alters the expression. A second application involves rubber shapes that act as virtual paint sponges; the user has to squeeze them to "drip" paint onto the LCD below..."
Demonstration below. Click through to view an additional video on New Scientist.