There have been a few different haptic research stories over the past few months, but the one featured in this BBC report seems to be the most promising and the most impressive. It's a device being developed by the University of Tokyo which uses ultrasound to create a perceptible "solid" object in thin air.
The team's prototype system includes a camera which tracks the position of a user's hand and shifts the output from the transducers to move the focus around with the hand. The result is a feeling of tracing the edge or surface of the virtual object.
Bizarre and inconclusive video demonstration after the jump.