Tangible interaction is a subset of general interaction design practice that focuses on the physical embodiment of new behaviors and experiences that driven by capabilities of digital media and embedded computing.

It draws upon skills, tools and practices from traditional industrial design, electronics, software programming and product development. It is an young and emerging area that is a power combination and can shape the future of how people use and perceive technology applied in their everyday lives.

In this class our focus was to develop artifacts that behave, react, and interact with people in a novel and meaningful way. Our focus was equally on computation or embedded intelligence as well as on human behavior and experience that guides the design of physical form and establishes the roles an artifact will play in everyday situations.

Since the mid 1990’s tangible computing has continued to capitalise on the tactile and physical skills that we use in our everyday interaction with the real world, as a way to help us use, understand and manipulate computers and digital information in understandable and immediate ways. A tangible user interface (TUI) is therefore an attempt to give physical form to digital information, making digital bits directly manipulable and perceptible by people.

(Excerpts from TUI class CIID 2011)