TechSpot: Leap Motion Renders The Mouse Obsolite
Everyone has a mouse. Everyone has a computer. Without a mouse, today’s computers are largely useless. Alternatives like the trackpad exist, but essentially mimic the same actions. Leap Motion may take more time to get used to to, but it could bring a host of new possibilities for musicians, game designers, gamers, developers, or just any old average Joe. It could change the way you use the computer. Literally.
So how does this tiny (3” long) cube change the way we (sc)roll? Well, Leap Motion lets you use your primary appendage to do everything: your hands. Yes, it allows you to scroll, pinch, close, draw, play, and much much more using your hands. This unlocks several fascinating possibilities. The first is the apps. Since nothing like Leap Motion has been programmed for the masses before, all the apps will either be completely new or enhanced versions of more conventional apps. Along with Leap Motion, the developers will release a online store called Airspace where you can get all the apps for many occupations. I will highlight a few here:
Leap Motion will revolutionize graphic design. You can draw with your fingers, or even draw with a pencil in the air. Also, 3D models will become virtual sculpting. Just an idea for you sculptors out there, but this could be the first mass produced sculpture using 3D printing. Every virtual model will become better with Leap Motion.
Music could be another thing Leap Motion will revolutionize. Computerized music apps like GarageBand will be much easier to play. Before you know it, you’ll be playing the air guitar and the air drum, then sending it off to iTunes. You can use your instrument skills and not really buy the instrument, and still make music. Also, new music teaching apps will probably pop up so you can become a professional air guitarist, creating awesome music without paying for a teacher OR a instrument. If you are a musician or to-be-musician, Leap Motion is for you.
This is getting redundant, but online teaching will also get revolutionized. You can zoom through space in a hand-controlled spaceship, dive to the depths of the ocean, and fly through the world at a molecular perspective. Apps such as these could make teaching so much easier. Plus, learning visual gestures like sign language will be significantly upgraded. Leap Motion is teaching made easy.
OK, we can just say Leap Motion will revolutionize everything. Photography and videography apps like iMovie or Photoshop will allow you to play with photos with your fingers or move around a slideshow by grabbing photos and dragging them in their place. Anyone with tons of photos NEEDS this. Seriously.
Gaming isn’t revolutionized, it’s TRANSFORMED. Whether it is RPGs, strategy, creative, or just addictive (Angry Birds or Cut The Rope), Leap Motion will suck you right in. Hand motions will control the games, such as forming a gun shape with your fingers, making for a great interactive game. Racing games is another example of a game that will be amazing with Leap Motion. Most likely, you will pretend to hold a steering wheel and drive away. Leap Motion brings on a whole new prospecting in PC or Mac gaming that we have never seen before.
Leap Motion is not just an amazingly awesome tool, it is also a big opportunity for developers. New app ideas could flourish while old apps get a renewed chance for success in Airspace. So if there are any developers looking for a platform to program for, Leap Motion is a great start. (Go here for info on when the SDK is coming out.)
Overall, Leap Motion is pretty awesome. It will allow you to use you computer in ways you have never imagined. And for all this awesomeness, wouldn’t you expect it to cost a fortune? But it doesn’t. It only costs $79. Leap Motion is open for preorder, and on May 13, 2013, they will start shipping. I will be ordering one, so check back here for my review!