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The DUO DIY 3D sensor changes the way users control a computer


March 28, 2013

The newest DUO prototype made with production parts

The newest DUO prototype made with production parts

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Controlling a computer with a mouse is so last decade. Products like the Leap Motion are on the forefront for using a 3D space to control a PC, and Microsoft's Kinect is bringing similar technology to the gaming world. A new product called the DUO is entering the fray, but with the key difference being that it includes an open source SDK and is available as a DIY product for more adventurous users.

The DUO offers users the ability to perform all kinds of functions on a computer without actually touching anything. Instead, users simply wave their hand in the air over a 3D space, and the software interprets those movements and makes something happen on the screen. Some examples shown by the creator include playing Angry Birds, browsing the web, and using Bing Maps.

Where things get interesting with the DUO is the way users can purchase the product. Unlike Leap Motion, which is sold in a one-size-fits-all setup, the DUO can be purchased as a kit, a fully-assembled unit, or with just an SDK and some parts for users to assemble their own.

The DUO features two PS3 eye cameras, which are readily available and relatively cheap. These cameras, along with software developed for the DUO, is what allows users to interact with their computer without actually making physical contact with anything.

Using the DUO to track an object in 3D space

In the demonstration video, testers are seen using a stylus to draw lines on the screen in a test program. Of course, being able to track even small object opens up a slew of creative opportunities for developers using the SDK.

Code Laboratories, the Las Vegas-based company responsible for the DUO, is currently seeking funding on Kickstarter. The project is currently sitting at a little over US$30,000, which is still a ways off from its $110,000 goal. However, it still has almost a month left before the funding period expires.

As for purchasing your own DUO, the options are plentiful. For users who just want access to the SDK, a pledge of $10 is required. Potential buyers looking build their own DUO based on the blueprints provided by Code Laboratories will need to drop $20. Users who want to handle the actual building of the DUO themselves, but need the case to fit everything in, will need to pledge $40. All the components except the cameras cost $70, and with the camera it will set users back $110. For a completely assembled and ready to go unit, a pledge of $140 is needed. Impatient buyers seeking access to the beta will be required to drop $250.

More information is available in the pitch video below.

Source: Kickstarter

About the Author
Dave LeClair Dave is an avid follower of all things mobile, gaming, and any kind of new technology he can get his hands on. Ever since he first played an NES as a child, he's been an absolute tech and gaming junkie. All articles by Dave LeClair

lol, wut? They've started a kickstart to make something exactly like the LeapMotion, but want to charge twice as much!? Why?

At $70 does there really need to be an open source alternative? An open source driver/API is all we need!


@Ferraro_Robots: LaepMotion is working extremely bad and has very small working area. Instead of that it has a great promotion!

Pavel Chernov

Leap Motion works fine, and the working area is not bad at all. It might use a little improvement, but I see no evidence that the DUO is any better.

The Leap SDK might not be "open source", but according to DUO's own comment in a forum on the DUO website, they have not yet decided how much, if any, of their SDK will actually be open source. So saying it will is a bit premature.

Anne Ominous

How do latency numbers for Leap, Duo, and Myo compare with human perception?

A perceptible lag is workable but not pleasing.


This is a solution looking for a problem. The triumph of form over function. Nothing will EVER be better than the keyboard and mouse. Nobody wants to hold their arms out for minutes at a time. Nobody who actually does anything productive on their computer, that is.

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