Thursday, January 9, 2014

A small leap into the future - Leap Motion controller review

So finally I got my hands on this gadget - LEAP MOTION.

Those who are not familiar with Leap Motion -

"The Leap Motion Controller senses how you naturally move your hands and lets you use your computer in a whole new way. Point, wave, reach, grab. Pick something up and move it. Do things you never dreamed possible."

So this tiny device, which comes with a huge price tag of $127 (India), senses your fingers and lets you interact with your computer in a whole new way. I made a test demo video embedded below to show how this interaction takes place.

I tried testing it on Ubuntu 12.04 LTS and Windows 7 Ultimate. It failed to run on my 12.04 LTS (need to check it why?) and after going through some threads I came across that it works fine on 12.10 and 13.04. I spent quite some time running it on Shivanshu's Ubuntu (12.10 perhaps). It was working fine, but required good lighting for functioning accurately. But somehow Leap is not polished for Linux compared to Windows. On Windows it gives you more options for Tracking Priority (Balanced, Precision, High Speed) and you can even re-calibrate your device. 

The Airspace Store kinda sucks for both Windows and Linux (Too few apps).

Now coming to the Leap SDK for Developers.
Well Leap surely has wooed us developers by providing SDK in Python and Javascript (both work really well). I can see Pygame hooked to leap in near future. But the star attraction is definitely the Javascript SDK. You can see countless possibilities of using Leap along with WebGL. 

Here are some of the open source projects you should look forward too if you planning to hack your Leap:
For Python Programmers - Link 1 2 3

Leap surely has got a tremendous potential to redefine Human computer interaction.

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