It may look like something designed by Iron Man’s Stark Industries, but this new touchscreen is for real. Developed by Fujitsu Laboratories, it’s an interface that essentially turns paper into a touchscreen, allowing for seamless data transfer between the real and virtual worlds.

Traditionally, hand gestures have been used to operate computer tablets and other devices. But Fujitsu’s new interface lets users touch analog mediums directly and manipulate them in tandem with image processing technology. And incredibly, it doesn’t require any special hardware — just an ordinary webcam and a commercial projector.

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The system can measure the shape of real-world objects and automatically adjust the coordinates for the camera, projector, and real world. It can also accommodate irregular surfaces like the curved surfaces of books.

From Fujitsu:

The system is designed not to react when you make ordinary motions on a table. It can be operated when you point with one finger. What this means is, the system serves as an interface combining analog operations and digital devices.

The system can also adjust for color and brightness in consideration of the ambient light, and correct for individual differences in hand color.

We aim to develop a commercial version of this system by fiscal 2014. It's still at the demonstration level, so it's not been used in actual settings. Next, we'd like to get people to use it for actual tasks, see what issues arise, and evaluate usability. We want to reflect such feedback in this system.

Source: Diginfo, Fujitsu.