How To Video: Optimize a Leap Motion Controller
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How To Video: Optimize a Leap Motion Controller

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Use these tips to improve the Leap Motion Controller's performance by making it more responsive, accurate, and tailored to your needs.

If you want a shortcut to a future straight out of Minority Report, you'll want this: The Leap Motion controller. With it, you can interact with your computer mid-air to play games, draw or even unlock your computer. Sounds pretty awesome, but it does have some quirks. So, let's talk about optimizing Leap for great performance. Placement matters. You can really put it anywhere you want. But don't stress about picking just one spot. Move it around until you find a position that works for you. But put it too far away and your arm will hurt, trust me. Put it too close and it could get in the way of other things like your mouse and keyboard. On a desktop, my recommendation is to leave it between your keyboard and screen when you're not actively using it. On a laptop, you'll have to leave it off to the side then bring it closer to the front when it's your primary input device-- doesn't matter which way it's facing. Another tip, keep it smudge free. Whenever you move it around, take a second to wipe it clean with a micro-fiber cloth. If there's a huge smudge, Leap will let you know with a little notification. But those lighter undetected fingerprints could also get in the way of tracking. Beyond that, there are a few ways you can tweak the software to improve the gesture tracking. Once Leap's installed, you'll see a new icon show up in the task bar on windows or the menu bar on the Mac. Click that icon and you can launch air space to access Leap apps and as settings menu. There's a lot to check out in that menu, so let's dig in. In this control panel, you'll see a bunch of settings to fine tune tracking. You don't really need to tinker with them but if you want to tailor Leap to your needs, here are a few of the most useful options. Over in the interaction area, you'll see that the interaction height is already set to 20 centimeters. That means that the gesture zones starts right around here. If you want, you can use the slider to lower or raise that zone. You can also use the auto-interaction height tool but it's kind of unreliable and better left alone. Under the tracking tab, take a look at tracking priority. By default, it's balanced. So Leap gives equal attention to speed and accuracy of your movements. But if you're doing something like drying and you want to see a boost in precision, choose that option, same goes for high speed. Just remember that you'll see a drop in performance for the other tracking elements. So, use this tool carefully. Now, if you noticed tracking is kind of off, you might need to recalibrate using this troubleshooting tool. To use it, pick up your Leap controller and tilt it around in different directions to paint the screen green until you get a score of 80. That's it. Recalibration is complete and you should see better tracking. If you've done all of these things and you're still not happy with Leap's performance, it might be your computer specs. Even the Leap's minimum requirements are relatively low. It's performance seriously improves on better system, closing programs or maybe consider upgrading it if you're going to be using it often. As always, if you have any questions, hit me up on twitter and check out howto.cnet.com for the written version of this guide. For CNET, I'm Sharon Vaknin.
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