Leap Motion is a tiny USB device, about the size of a thumb drive, that let’s you control your computer with hands and fingers (and even pencils) gestures in three dimensions using motion sensing and motion control technology.
The company claims that Leap technology is 200 times more accurate than existing solutions with an accuracy up to 0.01 millimeter (which seems over the top). To use the LEAP, simply plug it into a USB port, install Leap Motion software, calibrate the device and you’re ready to control your PC a la minority report.
This technology will probably not displace the mouse and keyboard, as your arms would get very tired after a while, but there are some good use cases:
- Stylus emulation and 3D images creation.
- 3D modeling software interaction.
- Sign a document digitally with a pen.
- User interaction in Windows 7/8 or Mac OS X: Clicking, grabbing, scrolling, pinch to zoom, etc…
- Surgeons can control 3D medical data with their hands without taking off their gloves
Thinking about it, I wonder if your hand could be used as a virtual mouse considering the accuracy. You would just move your hand as if you had a mouse and tap on the desk for left or right click.
You have to watch the video below to see how cool this device is. Tip: You can play Angry Birds with Chopsticks.
The Leap Motion currently supports Microsoft Windows 7 / 8 and Mac OS X only, but support for Linux will come later.
The device is not quite ready for retail just yet, and the Leap Motion team is looking for qualified developers in order to send them a free Leap device and the SDK. If you think you’ve got what it takes, you can register here. The development kits will be send to developers within one to three months.
The Leap Motion should be available in December 2012 or January 2013, but consumers can already pre-order the Leap Motion for 69.99 USD + shipping.
Jean-Luc started CNX Software in 2010 as a part-time endeavor, before quitting his job as a software engineering manager, and starting to write daily news, and reviews full time later in 2011.