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Very strongly related to what you describe is fiducial markers. They were a big thing in the small pond that was projected touch surfaces some years ago, though I haven’t heard anything much about it in recent years as the industry has headed in a different direction. It’s harder to find info on them now, but it’s still out there. A quick search yielded https://www.christianholz.net/fiberio.html which contains an image of the concept at the bottom.

Also see Reactable


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