Leap Motion is a hardware sensor device using hand and finger motions so you can interact with your computer in a new way by using hand gestures instead of your mouse. By using natural hand movements such as waves, pointing and grabbing the user can control their PC in ways not possible with a mouse. The leap motion controller is a small USB device that uses a mix of IR cameras and infrared LEDs to record 3D position data within a 3 feet hemisphere.
Games are the most obvious use and developers have already created a number of VR games that utilise the hardwares gesture sensor technology to enable shooting guns with fingers and other realistic motions. Hardware such as the Leap Motion are advancing the way in which we interact with technology and contributing to the Next Generation of User Interfaces by replacing a mouse. keyboard and touch screen with air gestures, reminiscent of Minority Report. There is already a vibrant app store, called Airspace where developers are building applications for the Leap Motion.
Other potential uses for the Leap Motion include:
- Mirror Training as a way of training robots to mirror human movements for example in manufacturing
- Education for example performing dissections virtually or building complex molecular structures by ‘hand’
- Virtual Worlds will benefit as we can interact as our Avatar perhaps eventually fooling our brain to believe that our virtual limbs are real. Phantom limb pain shows that it is already possible for our brain to believe that limbs exist when they have been amputated
- Control devices for vehicles and anything that requires some form of remote control
- Physiotherapy exercise for amputees by retraining physical movement with artificial limbs
What other applications could there be for the Leap Motion?