Does This Elastic Touchscreen Signal a Return to Tactility?

The future, according to Apple and designers of modern devices, looks clean, minimal and lacking in texture. It looks pretty – it feels … like nothing. I’ve spoken with a number of users who purchased cases for their new iPhone 5 simply because they couldn’t hold it. It was too thin, too sleek, and too clean.

I’m with the minority that believes that the lack of tactility in modern devices is less interesting, but I couldn’t help feeling a bit optimistic when I saw this elastic touchscreen design. Its strangely rubberized material reminds me of skin and its interface is nothing short of interesting:

Create mountains by pulling them out of the screen, draw rivers with your fingers, elevate an entire terrain to see a cut section view. Make your data come alive. The video shows our working prototype.

Obake: interactions with a 2.5D elastic display from Dhairya Dand on Vimeo.


The imagery reminds me of playing with skin or dough – the manipulation of the material and its shapeshifting form gives my fingers a lot to look forward to. To be honest, I’m more exited about this than augmented reality glasses.