The same guys who brought you the bubble input have created a crazy scratch UI that allows you to scratch and tap almost any surface. By sensing the sound and the finding the peaks and valleys in the waveform the system can tell if you’re scratching a shape or tapping on the surface.
The UI can be used with any material – it just needs a sensitive microphone – and could be used to follow a pen on a whiteboard surface or allow you to control programs from your desk. Imagine, if you will, a touchpad on a laptop that consists of the entire wrist rest – heck, even the side panels. You just tap it and it senses what you’re doing.
This comes from some boys over at Carnegie Mellon, my alma mater, which makes it ten times cooler. It’s nice to know they’re still geeking out over there. Go Tartans!