How would you like it if that ordinary piece of paper that’s sitting on your desk could be manipulated into a touchscreen? What if you could also do that with a book? You could use your finger as a highlighter to showcase certain pieces of text. You would basically be able to digitize a piece of paper, regardless of what was written or drawn on the paper itself. With a surprisingly simple process, this is now possible with the help of advanced image processing technology.
Fujitsu Laboratories developed this touch-sensitive interface, which creates a touchscreen-like surface using piece of paper, a book or almost any other ordinary object in our lives. All that’s needed to make this happen is a webcam, a commercial projector and the technology itself.
In addition to analyzing your fingertip to make this possible, the technology also works with gesturing. In other words, you could move your fist to move the data on the piece of paper. This isn’t the first time we’ve written about technology that is able to create a touchscreen or gesture-controlled system on an ordinary object, but this is the first such a system (which doesn’t require any special hardware) that is actually scheduled to hit the market. The developers hope a commercial version of this system will be available in 2014.
What that means is that in a very short period of time, a piece of paper will have the potential to be a lot more than what we know now. It will be able to transform into an interactive document. There are so many applications for this type of technology, especially since it can adjust its coordinates to accommodate a flat surface or a curved surface. It’s hard to believe that paper created from a tree can be manipulated into a touchscreen-like system where data can be extracted, but it’s true. It will be exciting to see how it all develops over the next few years.