Gesture interaction with computers had long been the stuff of sci-fi, until the recent socially-awkward flamboyant games such as Xbox Kinect began to enter the mainstream.
Now that touchscreens have moved the human-computer interaction beyond the monopoly of the mouse-keyboard union for the first time in 30 years, are we now at a point where we can put some distance between us and our computers? Can we instruct them without direct contact but now move to the new union of voice-gesture?
Leap Motion is the first serious mainstream contender for a high fidelity gesture peripheral. It tracks the movement of hands in two square feet of space above it with unbelievable speed and accuracy.
The first question everybody asks is, ‘So what can it do?’. The short answer is, today, very little. Tomorrow? Well, I for one am a believer. What we have here is a limitation of imagination, not of technology. That is usually a catalyst for innovation.
Receiving my Developer Kit a few weeks ago was a cause for a large crowd to gather in the development team at the Guardian. Only a handful of new gadgets really generate this level of excitement and people wanted to see for themselves whether it lived up to the hype.