September 25, 2012

Leap : Kinect for PC or Mac

You might have heard about Microsoft’s Xbox 360 Kinect that uses a webcam to sense your every move so you don’t need to use the game controller.  Well, Leap Motion, a San Francisco company, their goal is to reinvent human-computer interaction with a three-inch-long motion-capture device called the Leap, which allows users to waving their finger to control onscreen objects.

Connected to any Windows or Mac OS X computer, using infrared LEDs and 1.3-megapixel camera sensors, it monitors movement in an 8-cubic-foot field.  The Leap uses custom algorithms to convert the view of the device into a 3-D map of the user’s hands.  It can track individual fingertips because it can detect movement as small as one-hundredth of a millimeter.  Isn’t that amazing? It is even small enough to integrate into laptops and tablets, which could happen as early as next spring.

Leap Motion plans to ship the first few devices to software developers and eventually launch an app store just for this device.  

The specifications for the Leap:

Dimensions: 3 by 1 by 0.3 inches
Range: 8 cubic feet
Price: $70
It should be available to be purchased in February 2013.

Also, have you seen the Brookstone Virtual Keyboard?  Connect with the laptop or tablet or smartphone with Bluetooth for easy typing.  It uses laser technology and camera sensors to display a virtual QWERTY keyboard on any flat surface.  It is a keychain design so you can take it wherever you go.  The Brookstone Virtual Keyboard is available to be purchased for $100.