Software which Turns Paper into a Touchscreen
Fujitsu laboratories has developed a technology that can overlay an interactive touchscreen over real-world objects, such as paper. The Fingerlink Interaction System reads finger motions and using a webcam, projection and computer in fornt of you -importing the visual information in front of you -importing the visual information you designate as data.
Put your documents under the machine while motion trackers determine where your finger is and, with a series of gestures, user can highlight images or text, then automatically digitize what they select. The machine can pick up on either a flat sheet of paper or adjust to the curve of real book.
"We think paper and many other objects could be manipulated by touching them, as with a touchscreen," said Fujitsu. "This system doesn't use any special hardware; it consist of just a device like an ordinary hardware; it consists of just a device like an ordinary webcam, plus a commercial projector. Its capabilities are achieved by image processing technology."
The system also recognize gestures for situations that don't require touch, such as the manipulation of 3D computer animated objects.
Consumer application for the Fingerlink Interaction System are still to be determined, but Fujitsu has several ideas already. "We think this system could be used to show detailed information at a travel agent's counter, or when you need to fill in forms at City Hall," the company said as couple of examples.
The fully commercial versions of the technology will be ready for release in 2014.
How's it actually working?
To detect touch accurately, the system need to detect fingertip height accurately. In particular, with the low resolution camera, used here (320 x 180), if fingertip detection is off by a single pixel, the height changes by 1 cm. So, the system requires technology for recognizing fingertips with high precision.
This system also includes technology for controlling color and brightness, in line with the ambient light, and correcting for individual differences in hand color. in this way, it can identify fingertips consistently, with little influence from the environment or individual differences.
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