Leap Motion. Put your hands up in the air!
I just received my Leap Motion development unit. I AM excited. Now the one thing I really need is loads of time to dig deep into the framework and come back with some fun use cases.
Very First Impressions
In contrast to e.g. the Kinect, LeapMotion tracks the interaction space from below your hands. This makes its usage area quite unique.
⊕ Perfect for getting precise pointing information to a screen in front of it. Hey, that sounds quite useful.
⊕ Tracking the angle of the pointing object.
⊕ Tracking multiple objects simultaneously. Get ready for your 10 fingers independently gesturing.
⊖ Naturally it cannot track overlaying objects, e.g. crossing your fingers or overlapping hands. This is no surprise but it turns out to be a serious limitation – think about making a zooming/pinching gesture towards the screen – tracking that will most likely fail or be very unreliable.
This is the most impressive aspect. I don’t have the final hardware/software version but it already is FAST. It definitely is the most responsive 3D tracking I’ve seen so far. The processed response onscreen is almost immediate, much less latency than e.g. with the Kinect.
This is really great to see, as responsiveness will definitely be crucial for LeapMotion’s acceptance and efficiency – My ❶❶.
My first test shows that the Leap is astoundingly precise. I would compare its ability to quickly point on a very specific area on the screen with a trackpad, maybe a bit slower than that, but much more immediate. Depending on the chosen tracking targets (fingers, palm, normalized center, etc.) the pointer can flicker a bit, but that seems to be controlable with more advanced handling in software. Again compared to the Kinect, you’ll see much less tracking noise. Arm tiring might become an issue but I need to spend more time testing in order to find out.
Obviously Hardware and Software go hand in hand to make the LeapMotion a usable input device. My first impression hints to a very well designed piece of hardware. The software and SDK still seems to have some rougher edges but it is still evolving rapidly. More details on this after I had some more hands on experience with the code.