I’ve been pretty fascinated with the Microsoft Kinect for creating Minority Report style user interfaces and computer input. There is a new device that does what the Kinect does, and possibly jumps ahead of it by being available for desktop systems like Windows, and Mac OS X.
Leap is about the size of an iPhone dock or large flash drive. It’s easy to use, you simply install the software, plug the device in, wave your hands to calibrate the system, and your off and running.
From the examples in the video, there are a ton of possibilities here, but where I think there is huge growth potential would be point of sale and visual merchandising solutions.
The fact that you can use your hands, or simply a finger to input information without having to make physical contact with the device is huge. Imagine being able to input, or interact with a screen behind a store front window, or in a store display. Leap has an interactive window of about 8 cubic feet from the actual computer set up. Plenty of room to create an interactive bubble in the environment.
Originally designed to aid developers with 3D modeling, Leap has expanded to allow the control of a wide variety of applications. Leap is 200 times more sensitive than existing touch-free products and technologies and can track movements as closely as 1/100th of a millimeter.Pretty impressive if you have ever played with the Kinect development kit and know it’s limitations. The other nice thing about Leap is you can develop and define custom gestures which could be applicable to specific applications designed to take advantage of the hardware.
Oh and, the cost of the device is $69.99 which makes it extra affordable.