Do you remember Minority Report? The 2002 film based on the sci-fi novel, directed by Steven Spielberg, starring Tom Cruise? In that film there was a scene where Tom Cruise uses his hands to manipulate his computer screen in order to search through the files to obtain certain information. It was an amazing scene and it really sparked the imagination of tech geeks all around the world, about just how far our technology has come and what it might become one day. That time has finally arrived. Leap Motion has invented something quite spectacular, and it is right out of a sci-fi movie.
Using a small box like device roughly the size of an iPod, you are able to use natural gestures to use your computer. This device creates a three-dimensional space, around 8 cubic feet, so that you can use the movements of your hands and fingers to manipulate your computer. By swiping, pinching, moving, enlarging, rotating, and anything else you can think of, you are able to control programs, play games or access things on your computer without using a traditional mouse or keyboard. Think X-Box 360’s Kinect, but about hundred times cooler and a thousand times more sophisticated.
Whereas the Kinect will roughly map out the movement of your hands, this will actually notice the smaller motions, and track those movements down to 1/100th of a millimeter small. It can even tell the difference between your fingers, thumb and smaller objects, like pencils.
Don’t get me wrong, you can still use this device to add a new dimension to your games, but there are so many applications beyond gaming, which this device can revolutionize. Think about how artists will approach their art when they can sculpt, or build things and see it appear on their computer screen. Engineers will be able to get a better sense of the scope of their projects and will be able to make adjustments accordingly. Doctors will be able to examine parts of the body and not rely on the 2D imaging that they are now. This device has so much potential and the possibilities are really endless. Why go out and buy a new touchpad device, when you can make your desktop far more functional and way more fun to use?
The other cool thing about what the company is doing beyond its nifty little device is that they are also shipping out developer kits for anyone who wants one. All for the price of …FREE! Having these developer kits means more applications for users, which will sell more of the Leap Motion devices. Which will inevitable lead to more awesome gadgets from this company. So if you are a developer and are looking to jump on the next big thing, I would definitely start here.
The gadget itself has not been released yet. Probably has to do with the million lines of coding that still remains to be done. But that doesn’t mean you can’t pre-order it and wait for it to be delivered to you during the expected December 2012 – January 2013 release date.
I mean, come on, for seventy bucks why wouldn’t you pick one of these up?! You’ll be able to re-enact all of the scenes from Minority Report, sans the automated cars, windup rifles and jetpacks. But those will be invented sooner or later.