Many areas of study include aspects of physicality in digital research or design. We begin with Weiser’s vision of ubiquitous computing where computation becomes ‘invisible’, seamlessly interwoven into every aspect of life. Sometimes it is in objects that we hold, grasp of feel (studied by tangible user interfaces and haptic interfaces) and sometimes so close it feels personal: mobile phones, wearable technology or even within our bodies. In virtual and augmented reality the digital world emulates or sometimes overlays the physical world, but only affects it through our perceptions. However, in robotics and autonomous vehicles the digital world is not only made physical, but also active with apparent agency of its own. Finally, we see how digital design can now be given physical form through digital fabrication, making physical production as easy as writing in a Word processor, which is enabling new communities where digital and physical crafts meet.
Keywords: Physicality, Ubiquitous computing, Invisible Computing, Tangible user interfaces, Haptic interfaces, Virtual reality, Augmented reality, Digital design, Digital fabrication