Here's another technology of the future being worked on by Sean Follmer of MIT Media Lab and Stanford as the Tangible Media Group. Inform is a way of visualising 3D information using banks of large and small Linear Actuators to create physical blocks that when combined in a matrix can make a morhping surface.
In this TED&CERN talk, Follmer demonstrates a number of examples, including haptic interfaces, tables that reconfigure to the task in hand, physical telepresence interfaces, bands that transform from one thing to another.
Its certainly food for thought, taking the touch interface we've all become accustomed to, to a whole new level.
Just need some musical applications to adopt it in our world - any ideas?
Thanks to John P Shea for the story.