Check this out: 10/GUI.
The video gives a great overview of the concepts of 10/GUI – a new mutitouch GUI idea from R. Clayton Miller.
He argues that multitouch displays for desktop computers are definitely not the way forwards, and I tend to agree with him. Holding your arm horizontally to interact with a computer for any length of time will soon fatigue your arm. Using a tablet type display on a horizontal surface will quickly lead to neck pain, and you can’t see what you’re doing as your hands are in the way.
10/GUI uses a keyboard with a huge multitouch surface below it, like an oversized laptop trackpad, and it can recognise 10 points of input from your fingers. There’s an easily accessible global menu, and another easily accessible local app-specific menu area. I’m not convinced that this would scale all that well once you’ve got more than a dozen documents open, flicking between them in 2 dimensions may be difficult, but for an initial idea and a launching point for future interaction, it’s pretty cool.