The touchscreen interface is useful if implemented properly, as in the iPhone and iPad. Many digital cameras also now sport a touchscreen interface that is very usable.
Mark Micire is a graduate student at the University of Massachusetts-Lowell and, for his Phd thesis, showed a demo of his swarm-control interface using Microsoft Surface, which is an interactive tabletop.
There are examples of this tabletop interactive technology in actual use and in movies. One I remember clearly is in the movie “The Island” featuring Ewan McGregor and Scarlett Johansson.
There is a game on the Nintendo DS Lite called The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass (the Wi-Fi multiplayer version) where you use a stylus (or your finger) to tell Linc or 3 robots (or ship, etc.) where to go by drawing the path on one screen and watch the resulting action on that screen from a top view and a 3D version on the other screen.