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Physical computing refers to the building of interactive, physical systems, using a combination of hardware and software that can sense input from the real world and respond to it.

This includes projects that use sensors and microcontrollers to input analogue information in a software system, or control electrical and mechanical devices and hardware.

Physical computing has a wide range of applications, and can help researchers to understand people’s relationship to digital technology: this understanding is vital as we move to a world that includes touch and touchless interfaces, the Internet of Things, augmented reality and new possibilities that are being explored and developed every day.