Trillions of tiny femtomachines are distributed in the air, allowing anywhere to become a control panel with a simple swirl of a person's finger. A ship can use the system to sense what is happening throughout the interior, thus giving it more information to use for environmental control, security, and communication. Using the nodal system, a ship's computer may manifest herself anywhere on the ship in physical or holographic form. This system is also used to decorate the interior of some ships.
Don't use the nodal system to make food! It'll be full of nanomachines that will do weird stuff to your body (not so much the NH-27, but certainly a potential hazard to the other). The nodal system isn't very healthy to be around - it should be used sparingly.