Fujitsu Laboratories has developed a technology that can overlay an interactive touchscreen over real-world objects, such as paper.
This would mean an easier handling of non digital data like books.
Using a low-resolution webcam (just 320 x 180 pixel resolution) and a commercial projector, the Japanese company is able to project an interface onto a surface, and then use the camera to track both the shape of the item as well as your fingers to determine what to do. For example, in the video demo from DigInfoNews, the Fujitsu rep is able to digitally crop out just the photo on the printed piece of paper by sliding the sheet under the device, and using only his finger to manipulate the interface projected onto the paper.
“We think paper and many other objects could be manipulated by touching them, as with a touchscreen. This system doesn’t use any special hardware; it consists of just a device like an ordinary webcam, plus a commercial projector. Its capabilities are achieved by image processing technology.”
Besides flat surfaces, the technology also works on curved or uneven ones, so one can easily manipulate data from a book.
The fully commercial version of the technology will be ready for release in 2014.