From cookware to cosmetics, everything is getting interactive.

The advent of interactive screens is one of our 10 Trends for 2012, and our year-end trend report spotlighted several ways in which retailers are using interactive touch screens to provide customers with immersive and engaging experiences. Several more innovative examples surfaced at last month’s National Retail Federation convention, as detailed in Time.

Some of these enable retailers to bring elements of e-commerce into the physical store, providing customers with detailed product information or an organized overview of what the store stocks. The Beauty Spot, an innovative kiosk from Macy’s in partnership with Intel, lets users peruse the cosmetics floor’s offerings by top picks, category or items that can help achieve various “looks.” Customers can view product details, online reviews and similar products, adding items to a shopping list that they can email to themselves or print out, handing over to a sales assistant who can gather the products.

Touch screens can also give a physical presence to virtual retailers. HSN, the home shopping channel, developed a 13-foot interactive wall offering a “pizza challenge” that could be installed anywhere from food festivals to airports. Users can play the pizza-making game with on-screen host/celebrity chef Wolfgang Puck, who uses products sold by HSN as he makes pies. Aspiring chefs can find out more about the ingredients and kitchenware used and, if interested, send themselves a link to the products on HSN’s site.

As interactive screens proliferate, we’ll see more novel ideas about how to inform, engage and motivate consumers and facilitate new kinds of consumer connections.