Check out this interesting video from Microsoft Research on using a pen and touch together in an interface. It’s part of Microsoft Research’s Manual Deskterity project.
Running on Microsoft Surface, the demo has some really cool examples of how a specific pointing device can be combined with the more general input of touch. Using the pen to write, to peel copies, as an exacto knife, a straight edge, and lots more.
At some point the interface starts to get a bit too complex — suffering from the same sorts of “is that really natural?” problems that Bumptop has. But not all users need the simplicity of a touch-only interface. And this research points to some nice ideas of how objects can be used to facilitate new types of interaction.
(Link via istartedsomething.)