Leap 3D System A New Way To Interact
Computer mice and keyboards have given way to the touchscreen. Video game controllers have given way to the Kinect and the Wii. The future of the interface changes so rapidly that sometimes it can be hard to keep up with it all. A new product plans on capitalizing on gains made from both motion-based sensors as well as the concept of a touchscreen, allowing us to integrate the two skills, rather than having to adapt to a new medium. It is called the Leap, and it allows for an amazingly accurate interaction with a variety of devices. And the best thing? It's going to be cheap.
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The device starts at $70 and is a simple USB that you plug into your computer. The Leap then creates a four-cubic-foot virtual workspace. The software it uses is so sophisticated and accurate that it can track all ten of your fingers to within 1/100 of a millimeter. This is more accurate than a touchscreen and around a 100 times more accurate than the Kinect.
One can then do the basic gestures we have all come to be fond of (thanks largely to the Apple iPhone). Pinching, swiping, and zooming can be done intuitively. If you want to get fancy, you can even add depth to your gestures - there is an option to add a Z-axis to the default X and Y-axes.
The company, Leap Motion, even claims that you can embed this device into devices other than a computer such as phones and refrigerators, possibly turning the very space you walk through into an interface.
The room for improvement and growth is large with the Leap. The company is already reaching out to software developers to hack their system in an attempt to foster an open source environment. They plan to send out between 15,000 and 20,000 software developer kits before the product's release this fall, according to Popular Science.
This is in stark contrast to many other prominent technologies such as the Microsoft Kinect, to which Microsoft has the sole proprietary rights and refuses to allow others in on its design.
Watch a demo of the Leap 3D here: