Here are some examples of interfaces or interaction techniques that left a strong impression on me of just how much room there is for innovation within HCI. Each of these is an elegant combination of simple and familiar elements, and yet is surprisingly novel and/or clever.

The above examples are only a small sample of the excellent and exciting research out there. They are not meant to particularly endorse certain works over others. I only list them here as examples of personal influences, in the hopes that they may inspire interest and possibly attract new people to this field.