“Kong was frustrated with designing interfaces for electronics products using only flat buttons, so decided to create three-dimensional tools for navigating digital environments. To do this, he developed a conductive silicon-based material that can sense touch and directional movement across its surface, without sensors or wires embedded within. “I was aiming for a material that is pleasant to touch and also conductive, which enables the sensing ability,” Kong told Dezeen.”
My Take: An interesting point is being made here about button design. In cars it is a similar situation where flat, round buttons are being used despite small turnable wheels, and shapes ranging from rounded squares to triangles. If driver’s had multiple, tactile-centric options for their interface it may help them recognize what they are trying to press without having to take their eyes off of the road. If they could recognize each button by how distinct they are from each other, then drivers will not have to be distracted while they try to change the radio station or adjust their cruise control.