Sign the Air with New Hyper-Accurate Motion Control

Sign the Air with New Hyper-Accurate Motion Control

The new Leap 3D motion control boasts 200 times more accuracy than Kinect.

I've had a Kinect installed on my Xbox 360 for the past few weeks. My wife likes Dance Central 2, but trying to actually use Kinect to navigate the Xbox menus will quickly piss you right off as you frantically wave your hands in gestures the thing never seems to grok. The Leap 3D motion control system blows Kinect out of the water, if the demonstration video is to be believed. Using a simple sensor connected by USB to your PC, and proprietary software, the Leap can detect movements as small as a hundredth of a millimeter. That level of accuracy opens the door for touch gestures like pinch-to-zoom, aiming a gun in shooters, or even using a stylus in the air to sign your name.

As a startup company, Leap Motion has raised a ton of money, and the plan is to release the Leap 3D next summer for consumers at a price point around $70. To make sure there's an abundance of applications ready to use Leap when it debuts, the company is now accepting applications for distribution of its SDK. Leap will release 15 to 20 thousand free developer kits in the next year, forging an open system in stark contrast to Microsoft's initial closed system with Kinect. (Microsoft later released its SDK in response to the Kinect hacking phenomenon.)

Leap is doing something different. "We believe that ultimately, the sheer number of use cases for this technology are so great that the value can only be realized by making it open," CEO Michael Buckwald said. "So think what would have happened if the mouse had been initially been released as a closed technology. The impact would have been a tiny, tiny percentage of what the impact was because it was an open system that anyone could develop for."

With this level of accurate control, Buckwald's goals for the Leap are nothing short of a revolution. "The goal is to fundamentally transform how people interact with computers and to do so in the same way that the mouse did, which means that the transformation affects everyone, both from the most basic use case all the way up to the most advanced use cases you can imagine for computing technology," he said.

The bullet points of what the Leap is capable of are encouraging, and herald a new age of PC control:

  • Navigating an operating system or browsing Web pages with the flick of a finger
  • Finger-pinching to zoom in on maps
  • Letting engineers interact with a 3D model of clay
  • Precision drawing in either two- or three-dimensions
  • Manipulating complex 3D data visualizations
  • Playing games, including those that require very "fast-twitch" control
  • Signing digital documents by writing in air

Screw Minority Report and Tom Cruise's lame glove. The Leap is more like Tony Stark's hologram computer system.

Source: Cnet

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Caramel Frappe:
Why do I get the feeling this will be a big opportunity for adult themed games to...

OT: I really like this idea, if somewhat questionable. Might be a pain if you don't know what your doing or some hand movements you made cause an event to happen that you didn't want happening- I think this will be better then the kinect depending if this thing is as accurate and advanced as I would hope for it to be.

Got to love the way you can use your hands to shoot a gun though. Also hilarious that having your fingers rub together like your feeling for salt in the kitchen is the sign of you shooting a machine gun during gameplay lol.

I have a feeling the limited amount of arms we have will hold back that ide-
NO Richard, bad thought train, stop it!

OT: I'm cautiously optimistic, the cautiousness depending purely on whether this actually performs as advertised. If it does, there may be drooling. The obvious problem about the lack of range this appears to has is countered by my hands already being that close to my monitor, so at least I'm sorted in those regards.

As a great man once said and I paraphrase " It always makes more sense to be pessimistic .".
Besides if something sounds too good to be true it probably is.

The only problem I foresee is the inability to rest... mice today ally you to just rest your hands on the desk as you're doing things. This requires you to wave your hands in the air every time you need to do something. It's great for the novelty of it, for presentations, and some games, but for the more routine and mundane stuff, I don't see this catching on.

I will be excited to know, though, whether this will perform as expected, and at the $70 price point mentioned above. Definitely will be checking it out!

I would have to see this work in real life to believe it. But... I hope it does. I also like that its half the price of the Kinect.

Star Wars Kinect 2 will be amazing with this technology!

Roccondil:
The only problem I foresee is the inability to rest... mice today ally you to just rest your hands on the desk as you're doing things. This requires you to wave your hands in the air every time you need to do something. It's great for the novelty of it, for presentations, and some games, but for the more routine and mundane stuff, I don't see this catching on.

I will be excited to know, though, whether this will perform as expected, and at the $70 price point mentioned above. Definitely will be checking it out!

What about using both? Use a mouse like normal with your right hand, and making gestures as needed with your left? It might not work in a game were you need WASD, but it may be useful for other programs,

arhgadkjfhsdkfn might have gotten slightly too happy at that sight... Holy crap, if the resolution it was showing of that hand mirroring its real version is anything like realistic then this thing's gonna be far too cool for me to not buy. And the complete lack of noticeable input lag! It's selling itself as everything I hoped the Kinect would be! I even like that it doesn't bother doing full-body analysis, rather focussing on doing something really well than a whole load of stuff pretty craply ^_^

Of course, it's VERY likely it won't pan out anything like as well as that promo vid, but if it's even close...... hello future :D

Roccondil:
The only problem I foresee is the inability to rest... mice today ally you to just rest your hands on the desk as you're doing things. This requires you to wave your hands in the air every time you need to do something. It's great for the novelty of it, for presentations, and some games, but for the more routine and mundane stuff, I don't see this catching on.

Well God forbid anyone cant move their hands around a screen for a few hours. Anyone can do this for hours on end as long as they a somewhat healthy lifestyle. I'm fat, but I already have to move my arms a lot when I work for hours on end and this is no different. People overestimate how much this will affect your arms and I think it will be the next step too if people will take the time to try it out.

And now may the race begin to see whether Sony or Microsoft can buy the technology out first =)

Seriously, this looks incredible. It's a vast improvement on the motion sensing we've seen so far.

HAH. And you all said it had no future. PSHAW.

wow ok you've got my attention I need to see a live demo of course this could be really good then again I thought sony would support Playstation move when I bought one and (sigh) I was really really naive to think so.

If this is as accurate as advertised then I'm on board but since the Kinect was allegedly going to do that I'm going to not get carried away with my excitement.

In your lens, Kinect!

I love that these guys are keeping things open from the get-go.

Awesomesauce. I shall be waiting for release. Now, if the range is increased, this could be excellent for motion capture. Seems it only senses above the unit, and it has a short range. I hope this could be increased at some point soon.

Looks cool. I still have no interest in motion gaming. Or at least core gaming. Little iOS/Android games would be a lot better IMO.

And you can use it while sitting down? IN YO FACE, MICROSOFT!

But no, this seriously looks like it might actually be useful. If not for games, then certainly for things like 3D modeling.

and nobody heard from the kinect ever again...

it really sucks for microsoft that they sank millions into developing kinect, fight hard for it to gain validation for its existence, and then some smaller company comes up with a cheaper, smaller, much better product that works on pretty much every computer, and isn't being abused as another form of advertising

there's really no way it will be able to compete with it outside of the xbox

Usage of HL:Loast Coast was cool. Also Angry Birds with chopsticks was like "Bwuh?!"

Not sure how it works tho. Are there a set of recognisable gestures? I can understand using something pointed and making 'pinch' motions. Also with it being open source, will all devs use a standard set of gestures. As awesome as it is, this could get confusing.

Can't wait till MS either buys the company or "borrows" the technology.

judging by how they're already taking preorders of the product, if a buyout is going to happen, it's going to have to be a really big price, if at all, judging by how the people who are running this want it to be open source and compatible with as many things as possible

and big companies generally don't go multiplatform if they've got a hot technology that can convince people to stick with their chosen system

Now THIS is what kinect should have been! (At least if this works as advertised)

I am looking forward to this /crossfingers and hope and pray that it's good.

So, do your hands have to be over the little device in front of the screen? I'm just wondering how it would work from a gaming perspective (since the comparison in the article was with the kinect). It looks really amazing! Never mind engineers and digital clay - think of the possibilities for digital sculptors...

Ah, now we might get an actually accurate simulator of drawing with charcoal.
Now if only there was physical feedback...

Meanwhile at microsoft...

For 70 dollars? Are they for real?

My first thought is how well this would work with a pencil in direct contact with a screen and whether the activity on screen would be accurately where the pencil is at. If yes, then I'm smelling the cheapest alternative to a Cintiq ever.

Most likely void of pressure sensitivity, but damn. $70 to potentially turn a screen into a graphic tablet sounds like a wet dream.

Must be a scam. $70? Really?

Does sound too good to be true.

And to be even more pessimistic, this will only encourage developers to make more motion sensor games. Fuck... sake... Why...

I'll believe it when I see it. And not in a demonstration video, when every single thing has been controlled to provide the best possible result, but in a house. Further, I kinda hope that if it is that accurate, it picks up flies that fly near you, ruining your game.

Folji:
For 70 dollars? Are they for real?

My first thought is how well this would work with a pencil in direct contact with a screen and whether the activity on screen would be accurately where the pencil is at. If yes, then I'm smelling the cheapest alternative to a Cintiq ever.

Most likely void of pressure sensitivity, but damn. $70 to potentially turn a screen into a graphic tablet sounds like a wet dream.

Pressure sensitivity is hallmark of (good)Wacom tablets, that why they are much more expensive than cheap tablets/monitors.

I applied for one of the developer kits for my studio. I'm not having much hope on ever receiving one, I don't doubt it can do what it says(I've seen things in the independent showcase at E3 that would blow your mind, but never make it to market for various reasons), these things just never tend to materialize. It could be quite easy that Microsoft just up and buys it out(or Sony/Nintendo, but with their piling loses that a long shot.)

The fact that the video has been removed doesn't seem encouraging to me.

If they want this to avoid going the way of Kinect, they need to do the following: create an App store for their device.

The stupidest thing Microsoft ever did was releasing the Kinect for Xbox, and not including an App store for it. If they'd released it as a Windows device, and allowed developers to upload their own Kinect Apps to a designated online store, then all those amazing hacks we saw that allowed for Minority Report style computing, real-time 3D camera recording, etc would now be available to PC users as polished, properly developed programs to buy, rather than being the work of devoted hobbyists and programmers in their free time.

The fact that it looks more technologically advanced than Kinect already stands the Leap in good stead, but if it allows for open development and distribution of highly polished Apps, then this thing could well achieve the type of success that the Kinect can only dream about.

i love living in the future...

Greg Tito:
The bullet points of what the Leap is capable of are encouraging, and herald a new age of PC control:

  • Navigating an operating system or browsing Web pages with the flick of a finger
  • Finger-pinching to zoom in on maps
  • Letting engineers interact with a 3D model of clay
  • Precision drawing in either two- or three-dimensions
  • Manipulating complex 3D data visualizations
  • Playing games, including those that require very "fast-twitch" control
  • Signing digital documents by writing in air

I think this is really the important point. Look at that list. How many of those things are games? Not many. Kinect can actually do some pretty awesome things, but since development and marketing has been almost exclusively focussed on playing games on an outdated dedicated gaming platform, it's not exactly easy to do them. An open system properly released for PCs at a price no more than other peripherals has a real chance to be actually useful.

Link removed by user, yay!
Smeg!!

 

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