It's been a while since I did any mobile gaming. I just never warmed to tapping and swiping my way through a game. My biggest problem has always been that my hands are in the way of seeing the game I'm playing.
Fuffr is a Kickstarter project that aims to address that problem, at least for iPhone users. Fuffr extends the 'touch area' to any surface surrounding your phone.
The idea is that instead of swiping and pinching on your phone's display, you're swiping and pinching on the table next to your phone. Fuffr is pitching it as a social gaming tool (you and your friends gathered around a phone) but I can see its value for single player gaming too.
So how does it work? Fuffr is a case for your phone, and it sends IR light beams out the sides of the case. When the light bounces off your fingers the Fuffr can detect what you're doing and translate that to inputs on the phone (via a Bluetooth connection, so the phone doesn't actually have to be in the case for this to work) itself. At least that's my understanding of what is going on.
The only catch seems to be that the game you're playing has to be Fuffr-aware, and that could be a pretty big catch, honestly. Without developer support the Fuffr is useless (though Fuffr itself has created a few games).
If you're a iPhone developer you might want to check out http://docs.fuffr.com to learn more about the SDK and what you'd need to do in order to support Fuffr.
Honestly the Kickstarter project isn't doing great at this point, in spite of being a Kickstarter Staff Pick at some point. The goal is $250,000 and they have a long way to go to make it. But if Fuffr sounds like something you'd be interested in, a $59 pledge secures you one of the first cases off the assembly line.
Here's the Fuffr in action:
And some of the sample games Fuffr has produced.