Tiny Device, Huge Possibilities
The Leap Motion Controller lets you use your computer in a whole new way. Reach out and swipe, grab, pinch, or punch your way through the digital world.
Everyone wishes Virtual Reality to be the next big thing so they can truly leave their boring or normal lives behind and go on in an adventure flying around the space or just another planet or maybe just simply relax on beach with their long distance girlfriend. The future where Halliday’s creation OASIS may very well be reality where most of us folk will be stuck in an almost barren wasteland with nothing much to do but using VR as an escape from….wait this isn’t happening well not at least within the next decade or so. On the other other hand we are way closer to implementing it than you might think.
Leap Motion Controller
It’s a small device which you can either keep on your desk or mount on your VR or AR headset to use you hands as a controller.
The technology is basically dual infrared cameras mapped with a bunch of sensors to sense and send your hands into a virtual space. It started as table top accessory supposed to replace your mouse but since the VR introductions it’s currently the most interesting tech one can own among a VR headset. It was meant to be stationary so the attachment to a moving headset hasn’t been kind to the developers causing some problems and certain restrictions. They never fail to mention that this is a development kit which means that it’s not the finish commercial product yet so it’ll be a long time before you will just be putting it in your shopping cart at the super market. The developers also mentioned most issues are caused by software side of things and since they are a software company they will address most of the technical problems. They even have their own little store for Software specifically designed for this and if you don’t mind shelling out a couple of extra bucks you could be flying through space as an astronaut today.
Mercedes Benz showed off a concept car at CES that integrated Leap Motion’s experimental Meadowhawk module that features upgraded 720p high frame rate cameras and 16 high-powered infrared LEDs. Mercedes is using the technology to replace the nobs and buttons that control the infotainment system in the car.
The medical industry has also adopted Leap’s technology. A company called Tedcas is developing a plug-and-play console that will let surgeons navigate MRI data intuitively, in a sterile environment. A team of researchers at UCSF are experimenting with Leap to measure hand tremors in Parkinson’s patients. Vivid Vision is a company that believes VR and motion controls can help in treating sight disorders such as lazy eye. Burke Medical Research Institute and other such institutes are using games designed for Leap Motion as a physical therapy aid for those recovering from strokes and other debilitating ailments.
Possibly the most inspiring use of Leap Motion’s technology thus far is MotionSavvy’s Uni. This is a tablet device used to help deaf people communicate more easily. The device can read sign language and read it back in an audible voice.
The Future of Leap Motion Controller
The technology is already being used by 3D modelers and considering things like most of the designing for the latest Lamborghini was purely done on computers it maybe the thing to be used by future computer users for most operation like using a hologram display. From simulating hands in a Virtual Reality to helping implement actually usable Augmented Reality the possibility for this device is endless. All you need is a bunch of haptic feedback gloves and you’ll no longer be feeling the weightlessness that using this provided to certain people.
For the time being unless you are really hyped for VR and can't wait to get into beta testing while troubleshooting regularly it'll be ill-advised to pick it up. Especially considering that the current VR market is relatively young and big companies like Valve and Microsoft already trying to push their own hardware this device may get succeeded by a more popular alternative. -Editor's notes