Have you ever thought about what your brain has to compute when using a computer mouse? Since the 1980s, anybody who has used a mouse to open a file, drag and drop, or right-click for options, had to process that what they were moving with their hand off to the side – out of view, while they simultaneously controlled things on an upright screen in front of them. This extra brainwork is why touchscreens make so much sense. The pinch/pull and slide gesture-controls are so intuitive because these are how we assume we should use a two-dimensional space in front of us.
The aptly named Leap Motion is a gesture based control system that plugs into any computer’s USB slot. This technology has the potential to revolutionize the way we use computers because The Leap brings the user interface into the third-dimension.
Yes, there are plenty of motion-based control systems out there that will let you change the channel with a swipe, or play video games by tracking your body’s movement. Unlike these systems, The Leap wasn’t designed for the living room. These systems use wide-field tracking and only need to approximate a hand’s location, but The Leap can distinguish individual finger movement, allowing people to perform small-scale actions on their personal computers. The technology is so precise, users can draw with a pencil in front of their monitors and the motion from the tip will be picked up and translated on-screen. This isn’t to say that The Leap can’t be used for video games, or that it can’t track large-scale movements like pretending to swing a golf club in your living room, but its capabilities stretch so much further.
Learn about more future uses of this wild technology at iQ by Intel.
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