Anyone that has played with a Xbox 360 Kinnect or Nintendo Wii can attest to the cool factor in using motion sensor technology. However, the actual transition to using it on computers has been sketchy, until now.
The most impressive aspect of The Leap is its accuracy:
This isn?t a game system that roughly maps your hand movements. The Leap technology is 200 times more accurate than anything else on the market ? at any price point. Just about the size of a flash drive, the Leap can distinguish your individual fingers and track your movements down to a 1/100th of a millimeter.
Installing it is simple ? just plug the device onto any computer via USB, the device, install the software on your computer, and you use your hand to calibrate it.
Here is a list of uses for Leap (from their website):
- Artists and creative types can use The Leap to emulate a stylus or easily create 3D images.
- Anyone can use The Leap to interact with Windows 7/8 or Mac OS X by clicking, grabbing, scrolling and using familiar gestures like pinch to zoom in 3D space.
- Users pointing a pen at the signature line of a document to sign it in space.
- Engineers can interact more easily with 3D modeling software.
- Gamers can play more easily and many will modify with Leap in mind.
- Surgeons can control 3D medical data with their hands without taking off their gloves.
This technology is available for pre order at$70.
Why is this exciting?
Hardware innovations beget software innovations. I have mentioned before that I don?t expect much more from my future iPhone and iPad without any new hardware innovation.
While news of an impending larger iPhone screen is nice, the remote prospect of Apple implementing The Leap?s gesture based features on their devices could be a real game changer.
Arming any iDevice with such capabilities could really add a new dimension to interacting with our devices. Ironically, that would mean not really ?touching? our screens. Playing games, giving presentations, and generally computing would be a series of swipes and gestures in the air. Also, Dirty screen will be a thing of the past.
The future is bright
The future is bright for technology. Mankind has never had it so good. My 2 year old is swiping and tapping on the iPad?s screen to watch his favorite Youtube videos or listen to Story Apps. I am wrestling with how I can explain to him (when he gets older) what life was like before when all we had was a Black and White TV at home with bare programming content. The last decade has seen technology let us do so much more and with such ease.
Check out the demo video to see it in action:
The Leap in tech is spearheaded by a legion of young brainiacs like Leap Motion?s 23 year old David Holz:
He read Stephen Hawking?s A Brief History of Time in eighth grade and then devised a simple way to test the theory of general relativity. By the time he was in college, studying math at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, he was doing contract work with NASA.
David Holz is among the legion of talents leading the charge into new innovations. That being said, I expect to see life get more interesting with the aid of technology in my lifetime, you should too.