This “physical ambient display” is beautiful and useless — in other words, it's art. It senses the position of your finger in the water based on electric gradients and adjusts the display based on that. It uses a lot of horsepower to do it; I bet analog equipment with real bubbles could get much the same effect. Not that I'm ragging on this thing — it's very cool, and part of its appeal is that it's a digital/analog crossover.
You can learn more about the project here at the creator's page. [via Gizmodo]