We spend a lot of our time running our greasy little fingers over all kinds of touchscreens, but they just sit there unmoving as untouchable blocks of colors dart around beneath the surface. The Obake display isn't quite so lifeless, and it's just begging to be poked and prodded.
Designed by MIT Media Lab's Dhairya Dand and Rob Hemsley, Obake is what its creators consider a 2.5 dimensional interface. Formed from an elastic screen with an image projected on it from above, the Obake can detect push and pull input with a depth sensing camera and has a series of linear actuators under its surface that can alter the screen's topography.
The idea behind Obake—beside being fodder for pinch-to-zoom jokes—was to somehow merge the fluidity of water with more solid geometry to make something that morphs through use, but still has some rigidity to it. Ultimately, there's probably not a practical application for something like this, and if there is, chances are it is very, very specific. But put it to the right use and you could have something cool on your hands. Touchscreen trampolines anyone? [Dhairyia Dand via Co.Design]