This article explores direct touch and manipulation techniques for surface computing environments using a specialized haptic force feedback stylus, called ImpAct, which can dynamically change its effective length and equipped with sensors to calculate its orientation in world coordinates. When a user pushes it against a touch screen, the physical stylus shrinks and a rendered projection of the stylus is drawn inside the screen, giving the illusion that it is submerged in the display device. Once the users can see the stylus immersed in the digital world below the screen, he or she can manipulate and interact with the virtual objects with active haptic sensations. In this article, ImpAct's functionality, design, and prototype applications are described in detail with relevance to the concept of direct touch, giving special attention to novel interaction scenarios and design challenges. Furthermore, a technical evaluation was done to study ImpAct's accuracy and controlability and the results presented. This article concludes by discussing ImpAct's current limitations and future perspectives as a direct touch and manipulation tool.