Georg Petschnigg throws his hands into the air as he traces the ages of human evolution that led us to develop the fragile wrists we need to use tools. Petschnigg locks his wrist into place and pretends to scribble on an imaginary piece of paper, in the process lamenting the user interfaces we've come to accept from computing platforms. "How do we get back to creating?" he asks. "Developing ideas began as just dragging a stick in the sand."

Today, we mostly use our fingers to interact with touchscreens — the increasingly predominant means of controlling computers — but Petschnigg isn't content with that. It's not just about the fingers; it's about the paper we're drawing on, and iPad apps built for creating just aren't cutting it. He, along with a small group of talented developers, has been trying to fix the problem. "We've just burned down our savings on this," Petschnigg said. "We wanted to build tools we could use every day."