(Comment left on Aaron Loveall's blog)
David T. Gallant Queen's University, Kingston, ON, Canada
Andrew G. Seniuk Queen's University, Kingston, ON, Canada
Roel Vertegaal Queen's University, Kingston, ON, Canada
Gallant et. al. present Foldable User Interface (FUI), a paper like input device for more organic/paper-like manipulation of on screen objects like windows, pages, or three dimensional models.
The main benefit of their interface is that it is cheap, unlike most similar input devices. It also is fairly robust and accurate.
To implement FUI, they used an IR webcam, an LCD screen, and a foldable input device (FID) made of black cardstock with 25-35 infrared reflectors made out of 3M retro-reflective tape.
FUI has several interaction techniques:
Thumb Slide - Select, click, pop-up menus
Top Corner Bend - Bookmarking
Hover - Magnify/Zoom
Fold - Helps create 3D models
Leafing - Turning Pages
Shake - triggers discrete events (like sorting)
Navigation is done by moving the FID itself.
While the FUI is an interesting idea with good observations about the properties of paper, I don't see this being a widespread method of everyday human-computer interaction.
However, I could see where this kind of technique might be useful in creating three dimensional models for certain kinds of specialists.
If they presented a literal desktop interface where documents are represented by paper like objects (I know there are a few out there) this system would be much more appealing. But for current GUIs, this isn't a very useful input system.