I was very intrigued to see the LEAP technology demo on several tech sites and YouTube. LEAP is a gesture-sensing device the size of an iPod created by Leap Motion. I have to smirk after watching overexcited college dudes on YouTube and hyped articles about this product. The main fallacy is that it’s being compared to Kinect for the Xbox360. While the LEAP seem to be more accurate than the Kinect, it only detects about 8 cubic feet of space around the device. Last time I used the Kinect, I was about 8 ft away from my TV and jumping my ass all over the place.
But the LEAP does bring us closer to the cool moment when Tony Starks was modeling the Iron Man suit in the movie. 3D modeling is where I think the LEAP device will shine. The mouse and tablet just don’t work. I wished I had the LEAP back in the 90’s when I was trying to create a 3D fish. Man! It was frustrating. Clicking. Turning. Maneuvering the model in the XYZ axes using the mouse made me cross-eyed.
In video gaming, the LEAP has a ways to go. The Fruit Ninja demo is cute but who the hell in their right mind would be swinging their fingers in front of laptop to play a game. I’m sure that a game developer is all over the LEAP’s SDK or Software Development Kit to come up with a cool game. OK. I tried pretending to do gestures as if I’m playing a RTS, RPG, MMO or a shooter in front of my laptop. The need to accomplish the details of high-end gaming is just not happening. Yes. Developers can always incorporate defined gestures or locations withing the 8 cubic feet but really? You want me to start flailing arms and fingers in front of my laptop or computer. Gaming might not be the LEAP’s initial application. Let’s separate the need from the want.
Where I really want the LEAP is for video, sound, music and photo editing. I am all over the LEAP about these applications. This is where accurate finger and hand gesture will help expedite the process. Being able to manipulate clips, sound, music and images with my hand and fingers will be like cooking in the kitchen. I’ll be able to slice and dice and spice up a package in no time. Wow. I just got excited there thinking about it. A mouse has no place in the kitchen. (Sorry. The thought was just begging for a mouse reference.)
For $70, the LEAP is bound to be adopted by many tech geeks like me. Now. We’ll just have to wait for the right app to arrive.