If you have not seen the demo yet, check out the Leap Motion tracker that you set in front of your display to control screen actions with your hands--in mid-air. No applications have adopted it yet--and the end-user product is not shipping yet--but developers are being invited to get of board now: R. Colin Johnson
Here is what Leap Motion says about its motion tracking technology: Leap Motion, the motion-control software and hardware company changing the future of human/computer interaction, today announced the Leap, the world's most accurate 3-D motion control device. It will change the way people control their laptops and desktop computers. The Leap is 200 times more sensitive than existing technologies and will cost a fraction of the price, just $69.99. Open today for pre-orders, the Leap will ship to consumers this winter. Leap Motion also has begun accepting requests for free developer kits today. Thousands will be provided in the coming months to let developers create a wide array of Leap-based applications.
The Leap creates a three-dimensional interaction space of 4 cubic feet to control a computer more precisely and quickly than a mouse or touchscreen, and as reliably as a keyboard. Leap Motion's patented software, the heart of the Leap, represents four years of research and a series of major mathematical breakthroughs by co-founder and CTO David Holz.
The Leap is accurate to within 1/100 of a millimeter, a precision level required for touch-free natural gesture controls like pinch-to-zoom. The Leap addresses the shortcomings of all existing human/computer interaction tools by enabling a 3-D workspace that recognizes intuitive gestures. It is the first product in history to accurately sense the individual movements of all 10 of the user's fingers, and can also track objects like a pen. Traditional mouse-and-keyboard navigation turns actions that are intuitive in the real world, like drawing a picture or manipulating 3-D objects, into highly technical tasks. Existing motion-sensing technology is crude, inefficient and often frustrating, and even touchscreen technology is limited by a two-dimensional workspace and scale restraints.
Computing tasks ranging from simple to complex can now be accomplished with natural hand and finger movements. Current uses of the Leap include:
Basic computing tasks like navigating an operating system or browsing through Web pages
Precise virtual drawing in 2-D and 3-D
Signing a digital document by writing in air
Navigating large-scale 3-D data visualization systems
Creating and manipulating 3-D models like houses and cars
Playing computer games, including fast-twitch first-person shooters
Future applications from developers could include medical imaging, robotics, unique art creations, computer-aided design, virtual-reality environments, training simulators for complex manual tasks and more.
The Leap plugs directly into a USB port and calibrates in one step, allowing users to quickly begin controlling their computers with natural hand and finger movements. Users can fine-tune the Leap's sensitivity settings, create their own custom gestures and even network more than one Leap together to create a larger interaction space.
Developers who want to create Leap-compatible applications can request a Leap software development kit via Leap Motion's website at http://bit.ly/KrKMua. Leap Motion's app discovery platform will make it easy for developers to promote and monetize their own applications for the Leap.