I have just stumbled upon a video demonstration of a new device call the Leap Motion controller. I REALLY hope this is not a hoax.
This tiny wireless device sits infront of your screen or laptop and allows motion tracking of both hands as well as other items like pens, pencils, chopsticks etc. In the demonstration the response is very accurate, quick and the price is quoted at an amazing US$70! Instantly I started getting that feeling that this might be a hoax so I did a little digging. The domain registration seems legitimate, no offshore holding companies in the Cayman Islands, no dodgy links that I could find and reviews/demonstrations with reputable tech news agencies. It seems to stack up right but looking at how slick the demonstration was I found it hard to believe that all that technology could be packed into such a small device and still deliver performance like this and the fact that the company is taking pre-orders made me feel uneasy. I would love to put in my order but I have my doubts that IF it is delivered it may not work as well as advertised (remember Siri?).
The bit that has me suspicious is that the technology used to track your hands is not mentioned. Is it Ultrasonic? Infra-red? Microwave? Magnetic Resonance?. How is it powered? How long between charges?
One thing I do know for sure though… if this is the real deal then the Metro interface for Windows 8 has just been given a really good chance on desktop PCs. The future for Microsoft’s new version of Windows could have just been thrown a lifeline. Microsoft might want to help these guys coordinate their product release at the same time Windows 8 goes to market.
What do you think? Take a look at the videos below and make up your own mind.
Here is the CBS demonstration.
You will find Leap Motion’s website here.