"The idea is that you use touchless gestures to operate primary functions of a docked tablet in situations like when you have wet or greasy hands in the kitchen," Elliptic Labs CEO Stian Aldrin told Mobile Magazine. "In general tablets are made for being handheld. When it is docked you are often walking or standing further away, and then using a finger on the screen involves a change of modality. Rather than bending down, leaning forward or picking it up you can use larger movements a little bit further away to do things like volume up or next song without changing modality."
The technology emits an ultrasound field around the device that detects your hand movements and takes them into account. The iPad has a small screen, so standing back and using it without touching it seems a little pointless. Aldrin does, however, mention one use case that makes soem sense: when you're cooking and you're using the iPad to look at a recipe. Can you think of any others?