In this talk, David Merrill gives us an overview of his research on a number of novel platforms for accessing and manipulating digital content. These systems use expressive gesture and visual attention as inputs, explore multi-user interaction, and leverage our understanding of physical materials. I will focus on my most ambitious project and Ph.D. topic, Siftables, a tangible interaction platform that gives physical embodiment to information and digital media items. The system utilizes sensing, graphical display, embedded computation and wireless communication to free interactions with digital content from the desktop environment. Siftables points the way toward a new generation of interactive tools that bend to our needs, rather than bending us to meet their limitations.