A colleague pointed me to a very interesting website about a project that aims to enhance the desktop experience by utilizing state of the art 3D technologies: http://www.bumptop.com. The basic idea is
Enriching the Desktop Metaphor with Physics, Piles and the Pen. Go to the site to read more, they provide some papers about their work and offer to subscribe to a mailing list.
For the impatient: Here is the "official" YouTube demonstration: