Matt Heimlich is implementing Pixar's Presto technique in a new add-on for Blender.
So I've been working on this tool for a little while now, both conceptually and in actual coding, and I think it's time to get some feedback from the community before release.
The tool I've been working on is an animation tool based on the workflow in Presto, Pixar's animation suite. What that means is a method of animating your rigged and shape keyed models without the need for any viewport-cluttering widgets or digging around in the Shape Keys/N Panel to find the control that you need. Animation happens on model in a fast, intuitive way. Just click and drag on the mesh where you want things to move, and they move It is completely driverless as well, meaning that shape key and bone transform values aren't "locked" by their driving property, meaning that this tool allows for a combination of both artist friendly grab'n'pull, and technical by-the-numbers accuracy when necessary.
I've put together a little preview video to show off where things stand at the moment: