When it comes to the future of computing, we continue to see a push towards alternative input methods outside of conventional controls like keyboard and mouse.
These alternatives take many different forms including touchscreens, voice, eye-tracking and touch gestures. In the domain of touch-gestures, Microsoft has broken a fair amount of ground with its own Xbox 360 Kinect accessory and hopes to eventually release a close-range gesture variant for PCs sometime in the not too distant future.
Still, Kinect’s approach could use some refining. With a Kinect camera you can control things by swiping your arms and hands. On the other hand, the technology really can’t do advanced gestures with things like fingers because it doesn’t individually recognize them.
This is what makes Leap Motion so different. The 3D control technology has a 150-degree field of view that tracks all ten fingers at 290 fps to provide a more indepth tracking/motion controlling experience.
Leap Motion has been working pretty hard to get the technology into the hands of individual developers, with over 12,000 already getting there hands on the tech since the first reveal of Leap Motion in May of 2012.
The bigger news here is that major PC vendor Asus has now confirmed that they will be the first OEM partner for the technology. The company says they will start to ship the technology in their higher-end notebooks and all-in-one computers later this year.
There is no word on what kind of additional premium the Leap Motion features will add to Asus device’s price tags, but it is still pretty cool to see this kind of technology finally making its way out to the public.
We’ve been dreaming of this sort of motion control since the first time any of us saw “Minority Report”. Devices like the Wii game system might have been the first mainstream attempts at motion controlling tech for consumers, but improved designs like those from Leap Motion will take the concept even further in the not-too-distant future.
What do you think of Leap Motion, interested or not? Will Microsoft be able to catch up with future improvements to its own Kinect hardware?