During a recent workshop session at Parsons, I had an opportunity to use a Sensable haptic device to "carve" a virtual cube. You use the haptic pen to interact with the virtual cube and it actually feels like you're touching a solid object. We're also using 3d software to model objects which can be printed on our 3D printers. The wrench (below) was created using 3d modeling software and "printed" as a single object – no assembly required. It's pretty easy to see where we're heading as this technology continues to get cheaper. [gallery]
The glove vibrates when you "feel" an object in 3d space. You can grab items and move them wherever you want.
Passing controller data from Arduino to Processing. The arcade button controls the appearance of the white dot on the screen and two potentiometers control movement left and right.