The screen detailed in this patent includes a part of capacitive sensors distributed across an LCD screen with multiple overlapping proximity sensors, which would provide a more complete hybrid “image” when gesturing near the screen without having to touch it. This is an optimized solution for use on an iPhone, MacBook or other portable devices.
The document explains that the system would use infrared and photodiodes, something similar to the proximity sensor used by the iPhone to detect when we approach it to the ear. The light generated by the LEDs would bounce off the finger and be collected by the photodiodes, which changes the action taken depending on the light received. But this system would not detect only fingers, but it could also detect the palm of the hand above the screen surface. Depending on the range of the sensors, I can imagine turning the pages of the books making a gesture in the air.