Hard to believe that before Apple made multitouch cool, the most we ever "touched" our PC was touch typing. Now, here's Photoelastic Touch, a more tactile form of interaction that enters into "Minority Report" realm (still one of the coolest future tech shows) by not even requiring users to touch the screen.

Japanese researchers led by Hideki Koike at the University of Electro-Communications in Tokyo used a face mask comprising see-through gel as a haptic interface, allowing users to press, pinch, or touch the transparent mold to control the face on the LCD. In this case, the actions prompted a furrowed eye brow or eye movement.

Koike says one application of the technology could involve building a 3D model of the brain from the material to give budding surgeons feedback as they "operate" on it. The researchers showed off the technology at Digital Content Expo 2009 in Tokyo.

Of course, there's nothing like watching all this in action. So catch the video coming right after the jump.