Leap Fine Tunes Motion Control
One of the more interesting developments in motion control is how the Kinect has been used and modified for all manner of non-gaming applications. What might have started out as a way to play soccer in your living room has quickly emerged as a motion detecting, 3D imaging, jack-of-all-trades. The system sold around 8 million units in the first 60 days after launch, and Microsoft is working on a new version.
With the kind of success the Kinect has had, it shouldn’t come as any surprise that other companies have looked at motion control and tried to figure out new ways to improve on the technology. Leap Motion hopes to have succeeded with their upcoming release, the Leap.
The Kinect is good with broad gestures, but fine detail eludes it. This is one area the Leap has been focused on. Users of Apple products might be familiar with some of the gestures the Leap brings to PCs, via a USB attachment. You can turn pages with the flick of a finger, or zoom in on a picture by pinching. Used with a pen or pencil, users can write in the air to sign digital documents or create complex designs in 2D as well as 3D, which should be of interest to engineers.
According to the Leap Motion website:
The original inspiration behind Leap came from our frustration with 3D modeling— something that took 10 seconds in real life would take 30 minutes with a computer. Molding virtual clay with a computer should be as easy as molding clay in the real world. The mouse and keyboard were simply getting in the way.
Could we figure out a way to control computers in a better, more natural way—and without settling for the limitations of available technology? After four years of hard work, we’ve got the answer. Now it’s time to have fun.
Leap Motion already has a developer package available for the Leap, correctly realizing that the more applications that exist for the technology on launch, the better the Leap will sell. The Leap can currently be pre-ordered for $69.99.
Below you’ll find a short demo video of the Leap.
Source: Leap Motion