We've written before about the nascent design philosophy of haptics. Here's a novel extension, along those lines: A squishy touchscreen display dubbed "Impress," that its creators hope will eventually lead to being able to mold and form data, just like Play-Doh.
The display isn't the product of a skunk-works lab at a billion dollar company. Rather, it was created by DIS.PLAY, a relatively tiny group of German hackers, using open-source tools: Arduino, an open-source tool for making analog computer interfaces, and Processing, that makes programming cutting-edge info graphics intuitive. (Arduino in particular is a favorite of hacker types, as a quick browse of MAKE's blog will prove.) In fact, many industry observers think that innovation is moving out of the corporate labs and into the cramped workbenches of hobbyists—a development that Impress will doubtless accelerate.
[Via Where Is My Future]