Even though we use our iPhones and iPads on a daily (hourly? minutely?) basis, there is still something a little bit magical about touchscreen technology. Whether it's simply swiping across the screen to navigate to street view on a road trip or using fiber conductive thread to DIY a pair of touchscreen gloves, we are constantly baffled by all the cool and creative ways to combine your digital with your analog.

Naturally, it's no surprise that the minute we read about Little Boxes, we were instantly floored.

A project by Joelle Aeschlimann at ECAL, Little Boxes is a music box prototype for the iPad. Creating and listening to music on the iPad has always been a pretty seamless experience, but one that lacks a certain sense of analog wonder. Little Boxes is a playful take on the music box, perfect for marrying the old with the new.

The project consists of three separate hand crank music boxes that interact with the iPad. When you place each box on the iPad, it recognizes it and activates to create melodies and animations, replicated to work like a traditional music box. Inside, a metal crank rotates a plate wielding two rubber tips. Rubber tips that, thanks to their conductive nature, register as finger tips that work with the corresponding app.

While we'd definitely have to try this out to fully endorse it, we're super excited about the idea of combining the physical form of music making with the digital and wonder what other applications this could be used for.

What do you think of Little Boxes? What other creative ways can you imagine combining the digital power of an iPad or tablet with more physical analog objects? Leave us your thoughts in the comments below or say hi on Twitter.