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"Tactile" Systems Let Users Handle Objects or Touch Screens to Work with Data

Forget the keyboard and mouse. If you want to move objects around a computer screen, roll up your sleeves and use your hands—or a game piece, or a cell phone, or even sand. In an emerging field of technology known as surface computing, researchers are experimenting with "tactile" systems that let users handle everyday objects or touch special screens to work with data. Here's a look at some of the most advanced surface computing research and development.