Leap Motion Controller Final Thoughts
The Leap Motion Controller clearly demonstrates the vast possibilities this type of 3D controller represents. There are clearly areas that I can see it will dominate. I experience a freedom and joy when using particle manipulation software which I think is something that should be built into everyone’s day. Flying an aircraft with one or two hands feels natural and empowering. Leap Motion has provided us with a tool to open up a new way of creating in 3D; it is up to the application developers to stretch the potential into actuality.
Leap Motion Controller Conclusion
While testing the Leap Motion Controller I found that the device performed exactly as advertised. The sensor can track items within the sensing field to a very accurate degree, quickly and with very low computing overhead. Although there was some ghosting of the images the sensor was able to correctly identify the real image and produce the desired effect within each application tested. And with a tracking input device this is the most important test element.
The Leap Motion Controller is surprisingly small. Having combed the internet prior to the arrival of the device I was still shocked at how small it is. The design is modern, simple, with clean lines. This makes the Leap Motion Controller far more impressive once it is installed and people get to see what magic can be performed in such a small package.
The construction of the Leap Motion Controller is also very sturdy. As a single unit there are no sharp edges, obvious fasteners on any surface. Thanks to other intrepid reviewers on the internet I have had an opportunity to see inside the device, and from what I can see there really are not parts that can fail, unless there is a catastrophic incident in which the whole unit is crushed or broken.
In the area of functionality I look at how well the Leap Motion Controller is designed to carry out its job. The size of the sensor is such that it can be taken almost anywhere. It is slim enough to fit between the Keyboard and the edge of the tray, or right up front of the monitor. The non-skid rubber on the back of the unit allows for you to place in on a smooth surface and not have it spin around.
As of October 2013, the Leap Motion Controller (model LM-010) was available online for $79.99 (Newegg / Amazon). There are a couple of ways at looking at the value of the Leap Motion Controller. First as an input device I would say that the value will be growing with each application that is developed. The flexibility to input motion and position data in in 3D is something that will grow as more devices such as this are manufactured. Second as an entertainment device the Leap Motion Controller has potential to bridge the gap between full body motion capture and mouse input. There are actions, such as flying, racket sports, and painting that this type of input is more natural so there is value in that. And finally the Leap Motion Controller has the “cool factor”. It is just plain fun to show others how you can control various aspects of the computer and games with just gestures of your hand.
I would say that everyone who tries the Leap Motion Controller will be wowed by the freedom and grace that it provides. I would also expect that those originally drawn to the Leap Motion Controller will cool to it pretty quickly if strong app support is not forthcoming. There is an incredible amount of potential here and with mobile computing a reality it is only a matter of time until someone figures out how to bring this capability into the main stream. I would also recommend that game developers and artists have a good look at this device because 3D control is the natural extension of our real world, and 3D is the basis of our reality.
On the other hand I would not recommend the Leap Motion Controller as a mouse replacement, at least not at this time. I don’t think that the way we use a mouse maps easily to 3D input, and, like stated above, I think it will take some time and effort to get our heads around the optimum way to incorporate these devices into our computing. But don’t forget there is also the cool factor to consider as well, and the Leap Motion Controller has it in spades.
+ USB 3.0/2.0 Connectivity
+ Vector data and gesture recognition is inherent from sensor
+ Complex data input possible in real time
+ Well Constructed
+Captured complex motion very well
+ Huge potential.
– Leap Motion must seperate itself from other similar items offered by demonstrating where the Leap Motion Controller excells
– Not a mouse replacement.
– The huge potential must be translated into tangible performance
Final Score: 8.95 out of 10.
COMMENT QUESTION: What would you use the Leap Motion Controller for?