Leap Motion Controller 

Leap into the future

Leap Motion Controller



Leap Motion Controller

In the future, computer interfaces will be holographic screens that we manipulate like orchestra conductors--moving windows with the sweep of a hand and closing tabs with the jab of a finger, all in mid-air.

At least that's what techies have been saying ever since Minority Report came out. They might not have been too far off.

Enter the Leap Motion Controller, a glossy black, aluminum-ringed rectangle about as big as a fun-sized candy bar that you plug into your computer and--presto--you're in the future.

Well, not quite, but close.

Leap, which is basically a little box of infrared optics, tracks your fingers and translates them into action on your desktop, though only through compatible apps from its Airspace Store.

When Boise Weekly played with it, the sensation was at first awkward--thumbs registered as fingers, and if you lean too close to the sensor field, your forehead can show up as a big thumb. After trying some free apps--a sculpting game called Freeform and an artsy interactive landscape called Kyoto--we got the hang of it.

There are currently 186 apps on the Airspace Store, ranging from free-$7.99, and nearly all skew to the artistic, educational or entertaining. A few are available to give you at least partial control of your operating system--compatible with both Macs and PCs--but it's clear that we're still a ways off from Minority Report.

Verdict: For games and eye candy, Leap Motion is good entertainment. If you have actual work to do on your computer, we suggest waiting a few more years for the future to arrive.

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