These days, at least for technology, the term “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” doesn’t really seem to apply. Sure, the mouse is pretty old, but by no means is it broken, nor is it inefficient. But hey, it’s the future! Let’s do something we’ve always done but in a different, cooler and more futuristic way!
I can’t wait to get my hands on this little guy. Actually, my hands will be waving around it rather than being “on” it. Leap’s Motion Controller looks seriously cool. Just take a look at this demo video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_d6KuiuteIA
It hasn’t been released yet, but this has massive implications for computer input and could be an alternative to the mouse. It could be the solution that makes sense of Windows 8’s touch and gesture orientation depending on how (and how well) this little box of 3D input magic works. I suppose we would need some sort of cursor to indicate exactly where our fingers are wagging and tapping and we’ll need to train it/get used to how it works. As an added bonus, touch screens on computers running Windows 8 won’t need to be constantly wiped down which is a concern for many.
Although, I don’t see how it could be used for typing yet and I don’t think the keyboard is going anywhere any time soon. Try googling “keyboard alternatives” and you’ll find that these “alternatives” do not stray from the basic concept of text input; pushing buttons, whether physical or virtual. I think voice-to-text input, offered by companies such as Dragon, is the only alternative way to get words on the screen. BUT, imagine if this was integrated into future keyboards!
For more specific uses, such as art, design, architecture and even surgery, the Motion Controller’s 3D modelling abilities could be extremely useful. Also, using it as a game controller really caught my eye. Thinking way back to Duck Hunt, I’ve longed to play Battlefield 3 with a gun controller to look, aim and shoot.Using my hand the way the video shows us is almost exactly what I’ve been looking for. Such devices exist today, albeit mostly for consoles (PS3’s Move and XBox’s Kinect controller variations to name a few). But I shan’t ever use consoles to play FPS games. No one will ever successfully convince me that game pads are better than the keyboard/mouse combo for playing an FPS. Ever.
Anyway, I digress. I have no idea how well it works yet. Going against my recently imposed “no early adoption” rule, I have pre-ordered the Leap Motion Controller. It’s too exciting to pass up and looks like it will be a worthwhile exception to my rule. Plus, it’s only $70?!?! If it was $200, then I probably would have waited to read reviews. And have you seen how small it is?? You could hide it somewhere and feign the ability to control your computer with your hands, possibly ensuring tech demigod status.