Leap Motion Controller LM-010 Performance Review
By Dan McNamara
Full Disclosure: The product sample used in this article has been provided by Leap Motion.
Back in May the announcement of the Leap Motion Controller had me with the first sentence on the home page: “With a wave of a hand or lift of a finger, you’re about to use your computer in a whole new way.” However I had to wait until the product launch in July before Benchmark Reviews was able to obtain one for me to conduct a review. Of course, once the review item arrived it was out of the box and on my computer in no time at all. I was really keen to begin testing so that I could share my exploits in discovering how effective this “amazing device” really is. In this article, Benchmark Reviews tests and evaluates the Leap Motion Controller (model LM-010) for functionality and innovation.
To begin I think that it is worthwhile to open with a limited discussion on the ubiquitous mouse, not to say that the only purpose of the Leap Motion Controller is to replace a mouse, for it goes far beyond normal mouse functionality. From reading other reviews it is apparent that this comparison always arises.
It is hard to believe that the modern mouse has been around for more than 30 years. A first prototype appeared in 1963, but the mouse did not hit the mainstream until 1984. With that kind of exposure it is not surprising that most of us don’t realize just how much training it first took us to learn how to use the mouse. Many hours were invested so that the mouse now is more like an extension of our brain. Now with less a 2 inch (5 cm) movement of my hand I can track across 2 screens and point with an accuracy of less than 1/32 of an inch (1 mm). That is pretty fast and accurate and speaks to the utility of the mouse as a computing tool.
There may be health hazards associated with using the mouse, but you usually operate a mouse, on a stable surface, with some support to your forearm, so that you can last for hours working or playing without your arm becoming tired. Mice also have options on them, so they are not just simply moving around an arrow, or cross. These buttons and rollers increase the utility of the mouse geometrically, in fact you can complete various, complex tasks, so that, unless you are actually typing, you can get away with an absolute minimum of keyboard input – which is reflected in the move to portable devices.
So the race is on to find a replacement that can meet the demands of a computing society on the move. Today no-one wants to be tied down as we move to the next evolution of computers, the tablet. So it is no surprise that there are a large number of different input devices coming on line because that who ever comes up with the replacement for our valiant friend the mouse is going to make out like a bandit.
So let’s have a look at the Leap Motion candidate for user input, the Leap Motion Controller. In this article Benchmark Reviews has made every effort to provide better insight into the effectiveness of the Leap Motion Controller.
Leap Motion Features
- Simple USB connectivity.
- Two USB 2.0 cables with micro USB 3.0 connectors are included with the Leap Motion controller, with cord lengths 124″ and 60″.
- Dimensions: 0.5 x1.2 x 3 inches or 1.27 x 3 x 7.6 cm (HxWxD)
- Weight: 0.1 pound (220 grams)
- Minimum System Requirements:
- Windows 7 or 8 or Mac OS X 10.7 Lion
- AMD Phenom II or Intel R i3, i5, i7 processor
- 2 GB RAM
- USB 2.0 port
- Internet connection
- Warranty Terms: 1 Year limited
- Included in box:
- Cables 24 and 60 inch or 61 and 155 cm
- Software: Leap Motion Software and Airspace available at www.leapmotion.com/setup
- Welcome card
- Important information guide
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