The Leap Motion Controller, $80, tracks your fingers and hands through 3D space. But it's a little device, and it comes in a little white box.
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A mini-unboxing: the Leap Motion Controller, a USB cable, and a link to download installation software. That's it.
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The Leap Motion Controller is the size of a USB stick and is rimmed in aluminum.
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The glossy top has infrared sensors and cameras underneath.
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USB plug-in requires its own cable.
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It's so small, you almost wish it was somehow wireless...but it isn't.
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This is where it sits: in front of your computer, on your desk. The green LED is lit when connected.
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An brief orientation takes you through your first setup.
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Graphics show you the Leap Motion's virtual sensory field; it extends about 8 cubic feet around your desk, above the Controller.
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A skeletal hand demonstrates finger tracking: all 10 fingers can be tracked at once, along with the bending of individual joints.
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A brief finger-painting exercise to show you how your fingers can "dip" into space to press into or pull back on your brushstroke.
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Airspace Home, the Leap Motion's app launcher, keeps track of all your Leap Motion-capable applications and links to the Airspace Store.
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One app, Touchless, allows you to use the Leap Motion Controller to control Windows or Mac OS X directly. It also works with multifinger gestures, but the 3D gestural language isn't as easy to use as simply reaching for a touch screen. Seen here with a Dell XPS 18.
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Games offer some of the Leap Motion's best experiences: BoomBall, seen here, is a 3D block-busting game using your finger as the paddle. Small finger bends can angle the paddle's shots.
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The Leap Motion Controller connected to a MacBook Air. Since Macs don't have touch screens, there's arguably a little more benefit to what the Leap Motion brings.
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The Leap Motion's low profile makes it easy to pack in a bag and take with you, although you'll need a table or flat surface to use it properly.
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Playing around with grabbing glowing polygons in Lotus, an art-music app. The Leap Motion Controller has a fair share of beautiful but experimental artsy apps in its Airspace app catalog.
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More Lotus space-fiddling.
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Another Lotus mini-experience: spinning a weird head with your fingers.
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Spinning many heads. Did I mention a lot of the Leap Motion experiences were artsy?
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A closer peek at the nicely laid-out Airspace Store, which already has around 75 apps. A good handful run on both Mac and Windows, but some are Mac/Windows only. Categories include Education, Games, and Productivity.
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Will the Leap Motion Controller ever replace your touch pad or mouse? No, not right now. But could it be a useful accessory? Well, that depends on whether you think you'd use apps with motion control. You probably already know the answer.
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Playing Dropchord, a game that uses a finger from each hand in a series of arcade-like musical challenges. Games like this show how well the Leap Motion can be used for precision controls. Google Earth also works to impressive effect.
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The Leap Motion's sense of 3D space begs for 3D computing. Maybe wearing an Oculus headset would result in a better experience.
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