Mice, joysticks, trackballs, touch screens - will they end up in the trash ? the future of interaction is here.
Leap Motion, the size of a large USB stick, lets you use the computer intuitively, just by moving your hands. The sensor is so finely tuned that it can detect the movements of the 10 fingers of both hands simultaneously. It is also compatible with Google.
Le Figaro has already compared it to the virtual display Tom Cruise uses in "Minority Report", where he handles a large number of screens and applications simultaneously without any physical contact. Is this, in fact, the future of interaction ?
If the value of this innovation is not already clear (to quote Google), it becomes more obvious in the case of Google Earth. Impractical to explore with a mouse, 3D maps become simple and clear with Leap Motion, as this video demonstrates.
The possibilities for professional applications are numerous. For instance, piloting a drone is much more realistic via Leap Motion than a regular joystick. And can you imagine Leap Motion surgery one day? The range of possibilities seems endless.
The price of the gadget is surprisingly low compared to its performance: $80 for a box that simply plugs into a USB port. The only drawback is that, unlike a regular plug-and-play mouse and other USB equipment, Leap Motion requires the installation of specialized software before you can start using it.
Even though the demonstrations are impressive, it is not clear how Leap Motion will be fitted in individual application: will specific movements be preset in software to produce the desired results? For example, how correctly and efficiently will the computer decode an index finger making trigger-pulling motions in a first-person shooter game?
Recently, Leap Motion uploaded a map showing the distribution of pre-orders and application developers in each country. With the July 22 release date approaching, it will hit the markets in more than 150 countries.