Glacier Technology Tuesday can produce some interesting results.  Take this for example.  It is a stretchable experimental ‘touch screen’ that allows the user to interact with the screen in new ways.

An inexpensive new prototype device called the Obake adds a new dimension to touch screen technology. The surface of the device, developed by Dhairya Dand and Rob Hemsley of the MIT Media Lab, can react to how it’s being used by reaching out toward the user. It was relatively simple to make: the researchers used an open source software framework to enable the screen to react; the hardware costs between $50 and $60, Dand says.

Six specialized motors located below a silicone liquid rubber screen control the screen’s movement. Push, pry, prod, pinch, poke and the surface is malleable enough to move. (Watch a demo here).

I’d be interested to see what the application for this might be, given the recent success with the affordable motion technology interface we looked at last week.  My preference would be the motion module but wouldn’t it be a lot more fun to combine them, converting your interactive movement into a separate three dimensional model you could then physically tweak?  That 3D (they call it 2.5D) device could be anywhere in the world and now I’m having visions of applications for terrain based activities including archaeology,  geology, search and rescue,  and a wide range of military applications.

However it develops, there are probably more options than we can imagine today.

Here’s another link to the video if the iframe embed is not visible in your browser: Stretchable Obake Touch Screen

http://dhairyadand.com/sec/?page=projects&id=obake