Sound waves that mimic the touch of a button? That's the future

Anna Pan

By focusing all our attention on screens, we're losing the physical interaction of touch. These are the initiatives looking to change that.

From smartphones to satellite navigation, televisions to tax-return websites, the visual interface dominates our society. "A smartphone screen can represent anything because it's pixels," suggests Hiroshi Ishii, director of the Tangible Media Group at MIT's Media Lab. "You can even make a pixel dance."

But, according to Ishii, our obsession with graphical user interfaces (GUIs) is damaging, removing us from millennia of human-object interaction.

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