"Touchscreen" strikes me as a bit of a misnomer--sure, we manipulate digital objects on our phones and iPads with our fingers, but those objects can't touch us back in the way our bodies and brains are used to--they're trapped under glass. A student designer named Michael Knuepfel devoted his thesis project to breaking down this barrier, and created seven experimental interfaces that are "designed to improve upon or supplement the functionality of capacitance touchscreens." The devices are weird, playful, and handmade--as if Michel Gondry collaborated with MIT Media Lab:
This has our vote for the most fun marketing campaign of the year: Ad giant DDB collaborated with Pleix, France’s preeminent purveyor of whimsy, to endow the Place du Palais-Royal in Paris with a big, black, magical “Escape Machine.”
Passersby tell the machine where they want to travel, then, at the press of a button, it explodes into a dancing, bubbling, confetti-spewing fete, like some kind of jack-in-a-box straight out of the mind of Michel Gondry. Granted, some of the effects seem to have been added later, using motion graphics. But the best part: They win a free trip!