The news release announcing the availability of the Leap Motion controller and supporting software
isn't even cold yet, and the first applications that make use of its gesture recognition capabilities are already making a break for freedom. Asetniop
creator Zack Dennis has joined the fray with an alternative to the physical keyboard he's calling DexType. Essentially a Google Chrome browser plugin, the Dex-typist uses mid-air point and poke gestures to select characters from a strip at the bottom of the screen.
Los Angeles-based Eliott Ephrati is bringing a new product to the masses through Kickstarter called Skymouse, which is designed to let users control their computers using only their fingers. Mice of this sort are starting to gain more traction, with products like The Mycestro 3D wearable mouse
and the Genius wireless Ring Mouse
coming before this one. While those have you wearing the mouse, the pitch for Skymouse is that your finger actually is
Smartwatches could be the next big thing in mobile technology. Dozens of companies are gambling on this being the case, but naysayers point to the fact that they will only ever have limited appeal thanks to their superfluous nature. Most, after all, do not replace your smartphone, they merely prevent you having to take it out of your pocket or bag. Only time will tell, but some smartwatches are gaining momentum and fans. The Kreyos Meteor smartwatch, currently being funded through Indiegogo, being one such example that also promises Star Trek
By now, even if they’ve never used one themselves, most people are pretty familiar with the idea behind gesture control systems such as the Kinect – the user makes a movement, the device “sees” that movement, and interprets it. However, what would happen if the user was in another room, blocked from the device’s cameras and depth sensors? Well, as long as there was a Wi-Fi signal available, it wouldn’t be a problem ... at least, not if the WiSee system was being used.
The Xbox One
may have hogged the spotlight, but the next-gen console wasn’t the only piece of new hardware Microsoft unveiled this past week. The company also announced a next generation version of its Kinect for Windows
sensor. Built around the same set of technologies as the Xbox One’s new Kinect sensor, the new Kinect for Windows sensor and software development kit (SDK) are aimed more at businesses and organizations than individual consumers.
is on its way. With the clock ticking down to the PC gesture controller’s July 22 launch, Leap has a brand new teaser video that showcases the device’s interaction with Windows. If you'd forgotten how exciting Leap was when we first got the chance to play with it
, this might be enough to get your blood pumping again.
It seems like the last few years were all about watching smartphones and tablets get better and faster. But how much of that was really new?
2013, though, could give us some truly breakthrough products. Google Glass
, Apple’s rumored iWatch
, and Leap Motion
could all be big-time game-changers. One of those just teamed up with another big partner, as the new version of Google Earth plays nicely with Leap Motion.
It hasn’t even been released yet but the Leap Motion
could already be considered something of a success – at least with PC manufacturers. Following in the footsteps of Asus, who announced in January
that it would bundle the 3D motion controller with some of its PCs, the world’s biggest PC manufacturer has joined the gesture control party. But HP has gone one step further, promising to build the Leap Motion technology into some future HP devices.
It may not quite have the hype of Google Glass
, Apple’s rumored iWatch
, or the Galaxy S IV
, but Leap Motion
may be one of the most important technology products of 2013. The small sensor that lets you control your computer with mid-air 3D gestures now has a ship date – along with its own app store.
Over the last five years, the touchscreen has supplanted the mouse and keyboard as the primary way that many of us interact with computers. But will multitouch enjoy a 30-year reign like its predecessor? Or will a newcomer swoop in and steal its crown? One up-and-comer, Thalmic Labs, hopes that the answer lies in 3D gesture control.