Manipulatives will be taking an upgrade when wafer thin organic LED displays allow us to have mini computers of any size or shape. Some researchers say that this will be as easy as carving up styrafoam blocks into the shape we wish.
This video from the Human Media Lab, SIMULATES (using a projector) what playing games might look like in this environment.
Would love it if someone would simulate what learning would look like and manipulatives as well. Researchers say that this is 5-10 years down the road, however, the fact is, that if you aren't getting your teachers comfortable with technology today, there are some really cool things coming down the pipe that you might have trouble capitalizing upon. The fact is: change is pretty much the only permanent fixture on the technology landscape!
Last point on this -- this is a perfect example of how youtube is being used by a scholarly organization, in this case the Human Media Lab at Queen's University in Ontario, Canada. They are simulating things, sharing things, and tossing ideas out there like frisbees waiting to see which of those ideas take root and inspire others. A sort of virally-engaging scholarly research. Their process and videos are fascinating. I'm a subscriber on youtube now!
This lab has professors who tweet and a youtube channel. Be careful because something is strange with their RSS and you have to click the RSS button on their blog to subscribe, and you can see the tweets of their professor, however, finding his actual Twitter account seems to be nearly impossible - I"ve been looking for Dr. Roel Vertegaal and just cannot seem to find him.