This paper presents a programmable infrared (IR) technique that utilizes invisible, programmable markers to support interaction beyond the surface of a diffused-illumination (DI) multi-touch system. We combine an IR projector and a standard color projector to simultaneously project visible content and invisible markers. Mobile devices outfitted with IR cameras can compute their 3D positions based on the markers perceived. Markers are selectively turned off to support multi-touch and direct on-surface tangible input. The proposed techniques enable a collaborative multi-display multi-touch tabletop system. We also present three interactive tools: i-m-View, i-m-Lamp, and i-m-Flashlight, which consist of a mobile tablet and projectors that users can freely interact with beyond the main display surface. Early user feedback shows that these interactive devices, combined with a large interactive display, allow more intuitive navigation and are reportedly enjoyable to use.