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 tabletop computer; and Reactivision's computer vision framework tracks fingers and objects.
According to Diginfo.tv, 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.