If There's A Future In Motion-Controlled Computing, This Is It.

Illustration for article titled If Theres A Future In Motion-Controlled Computing, This Is It.

This is the Leap Motion Controller. I'm pretty sure it's the future.

This wasn't the case last week, when the $79.99, USB stick-sized device for Mac and PC started shipping. Videos of people waving in the empty air in front of their computer monitor made me giggle more than think, and it wasn't until the fifth or sixth publisher/developer announcing their apps for the device that I sat up and took notice.

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Illustration for article titled If Theres A Future In Motion-Controlled Computing, This Is It.

I'm glad I did. It's amazing what an additional eight cubic feet of interactive space brings to the table. Let me show you, in a lengthy video featuring countless shots of my fingers wiggling about.

It's no Kinect — it doesn't have to be. There is no need to position yourself a certain distance from the Leap Motion Controller. You hover over it, weaving your digits about as if casting magic spells. In some of the apps available in the Airspace store, you air casting spells. You're also playing music, creating presentations, and navigating your operating system, just by waving your hands.

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There'll always be a place for the keyboard and mouse. What the Leap Motion Controller does is add a new dimension of interactivity to your desktop. I wouldn't be surprised to see these being embedded in keyboards or the housing of laptop systems in the near future.

The Leap Motion Controller is available at the official website for $79.99 plus shipping.

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DISCUSSION

Something that will probably never go away is the keyboard itself. The reason is that it's much faster to type when you hear and/or feel the "click" of the buttons as you press them.

Trying to type with a touch screen or in the air with a virtual keyboard would probably be harder than just using the real thing.

Sure, you could say that the future there is to talk to your computer and it would record everything you say, but lets be honest, not everyone in the office would want to hear everyone else talking about random things to their computers while working. It would probably be very annoying.

Also, playing games with a virtual keyboard will probably be very dificult. Maybe when we are finally able to control things with our minds... but until then, I'll keep my keyboard and mouse.