Posted today, The Verge has released a hands-on preview of the latest computing innovation - Leap Motion, announced recently for an early 2013 release. Much like the surprisingly successful Microsoft Kinect, the Leap is a motion sensing device used to interact with your computer, but at 200 times the accuracy of the Kinect, the size of a flash drive and priced at only $70, it’s hard to believe that this is actually a shipping product and not some crazy tech demo for a technology that might see daylight a few years down the line.
As the Leap Motion startup describes it;
Leap represents an entirely new way to interact with your computers. It’s more accurate than a mouse, as reliable as a keyboard and more sensitive than a touchscreen. For the first time, you can control a computer in three dimensions with your natural hand and finger movements.
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.
This is like day one of the mouse. Except, no one needs an instruction manual for their hands.
After watching the Verge demo, it’s hard not to get excited about how this technology could push the product design industry forward and how 3D modelling software like Solidworks could be revolutionised. Touchscreen’s are already making tracks into the industry and no doubt we’ll soon be seeing professional grade modelling apps on the increasingly powerful iPad, but 3D interaction with the incredible intelligence of the Leap demonstrated in the video, makes such touchscreen technology look somewhat outdated.
The Leap is a periscope into the future and its uses will only be limited by our imagination. The Leap will be available in either December or January 2013 and if you can get your hands on one, $70 seems like a bargain. If you head on over to the Leap’s site then you can actually apply for a free one as a developer, but we’re sure students will have just as much to contribute!