Watch a device add a virtual touch screen to paper

Check out a device that adds a virtual touch screen to any paper or book -- putting us one step closer to the futuristic computing experiences teased in the film "Minority Report."

No right clicking required.

We're inching closer to a paperless existence, but until then, a new image-processing development by Fujitsu could make it astonishingly simple to copy content from paper and turn it into digital data.

Merely relying on an ordinary camera and projector, Fujitsu's touch-based interface makes quick work out of copying printed text or images by simply requiring the user to drag across content with a fingertip. The projector shines an illuminated frame that dynamically resizes based on how far the finger travels, and the observing camera scans, crops, and turns that selection into a digital file -- in just a few seconds.

Of course, what Fujitsu has here isn't entirely groundbreaking, as many others have explored this idea: MIT's Media Lab showed off a similar technology called Sixth Sense; Microsoft flirted with the idea with its PixelSense tabletop computer; and Reactivision's computer vision framework tracks fingers and objects.

According to, there are additional uses for this combination of technologies; one nifty example alludes to how a person, using gestures, could rotate, zoom, and explore a digital schematic (for example, a 3D CAD file) in real time. Fujitsu plans to make this tech commercially available at some point in 2014.

About the author

Crave contributor Christopher MacManus regularly spends his time exploring the latest in science, gaming, and geek culture -- aiming to provide a fun and informative look at some of the most marvelous subjects from around the world.


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