Imagine putting a travel brochure on the table, touching the word “Hawaii” and having a video of sandy beaches appear next to it. Better yet, image tossing some Post-it notes onto the table and tapping them with your finger to instantly digitize and upload them to your computer. Sounds like something from a movie set in the distant future, doesn’t it?

Fujitsu Labs has made this and more possible with a new interface system that may let us toss out our mouse and scanner in a single throw.

Watching the video below, you might think cutting edge sensors are required, but all it takes is a run-of-the-mill webcam and an on-the-market projector.

The system handles the bulk of the work through image processing. It appears that the camera is at a fixed height and on a flat surface so when you rest your finger on the table it can calibrate.

From a top down perspective it can measure changes in the height of your finger and notice when it is touching something or just hovering over it.

However, this system can also work with curving, such as that of a page in a large book when opened or slightly curled pieces of paper.

In addition, people can use gesture controls for applications which currently support them, such as moving the camera in CAD software as shown in the video demonstration.

Fujitsu is aiming for this to hit the market in 2014. Until then the company wants to continue improving usability and find further applications for this technology. However, at its current state it looks like a winner, and using existing hardware hopefully it will go easy on the wallet.

Source: DiginfoTV (English/Japanese) via IT Media (Japanese)
Video: YouTube – Diginfonews