Paper still plays an important role in many tasks even in this age of computers. This phenomenon can be attributed to paper’s unique advantages in display quality, spatial arrangement flexibility, instant accessibility and robustness, which the existing computers can hardly beat. However, paper lacks computational capability and does not render dynamic information. In contrast, cell phones are becoming powerful in computation and communication, providing a convenient access to dynamic information and digital services. Nevertheless, cell phones are constrained by their limited screen size, relatively lower display quality and cumbersome input methods. Combining the merits of paper and cell phones for rich GUI-like interactions on paper has become an active research area.
Here at FXPAL, the Paper UI group currently focuses on cell phone-based interfaces and their supporting techniques to link paper documents to digital information and enable rich digital interactions on physical paper through content-based image recognition algorithms. We started research in this area several years ago (see our project page for more details), and our recent on-going projects include EMM and PACER.