Interactive Art and Technology student Mike Knuepfel has posted a teaser video for his thesis which asks if there are new ways that we can use the touchscreen to interface with tangible objects:
Touchscreens like those found on smartphones and tablets have enabled a new generation of versatile user interfaces. My thesis project, Extending the Touchscreen, aims to further this versatility by using conductive materials to construct a series of physical, mechanical, and electrical devices that touch, interact and communicate directly through the touchscreen interface. My goal in constructing these external devices is to make touchscreen interactions more tactile, physical and potentially more expressive and fun.
The video shows seven different objects which interact with the iPad in interesting ways. In particular, there are two pressure-sensitive styluses using different techniques. One takes advantage of multi-touch by extending a second touch stylus and using the distance between the two to measure pressure. The second uses audio feedback to determine pressure.
At least one similar concept has already been brought to market. Ten One Design's fling is a simplistic touch-sensitive joystick that attaches to an iPad's screen. I'm sure we'll see more of these types of products as the popularity of touch screens continues to grow.
[via Creative Applications]