Wednesday, July 31, 2013

The Leap Motion

In 2002's movie Minority Report,  Tom Cruise played the part of Tom Cruise acting as a police officer. The movie was really quite good and worth getting on Netflix.  In the movie, we see Tom looking for evidence on some holographic computer screens, and all he used was his hands to move all that information around.

Cool huh?

Wouldn't it be great to be able to do that...move and control images in thin air?

That's what the Leap does.  It's a tiny little box that plugs into your USB and allows you to control the computer and special "Leap" activated files.

I received mine a couple of days ago and have been playing with what does it do?

Firstly the little box creates a field around it that picks up your finger and hand movements within it.  This is what the Leap sees when you use it...

And here's the "field"...

It's really quite what does it do...

Firstly there's a very cool instructional video introducing you to the movements and utilizing space as a mouse.  There are games like Cut The Rope, The New York times has a very impressive app, and an amazing interactive DNA app that allows you to move the DNA strand as if you were holding it.

The New York Times is interesting. It takes but seconds to learn how to use the app, and then you are pulling stories up, scrolling down the story by just circling your finger, and closing stories by waving over the Leap.  Some of the games are a bit clunky and frustrating if our hand leaves the field and the games stops or in my case with "Fish Run" my fish dies.  But all in all, it's a lot of fun.

There is an app store and it's got quite a lot of stuff in it.  I counted 58 apps for the MAC, including a very cool frog dissection.

So why is this good and is it practical?  At the moment it's a novelty, it's fun and not really practical, it would take less time to access the NY Times from a browser...BUT, this sort of technology is important.  Game play will change because of it.  I think it has immense opportunities for educational content.  The Leap cost $65, shouldn't every school have something like this, it would revolutionize biology, physics, chemistry...and kids would love to learn using it.

Try and get a hold of a Leap, play with it, it's cool, it's very interesting and it makes you look like tom Cruise when you use it, (OK that last part was a lie).

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