A company called Leap Motion wants to make that kind of gesture control a reality, and it hopes to take the first step with a new type of motion controller.
The Leap is a simple motion controller that you can plug into any USB port on your computer. Once it's plugged in and you've installed the Leap software, it turns the 8-cubic feet of air in front of it into "3D interaction space" — basically, it'll track any and all motion within that space, letting you use your hands to do whatever you could do with a mouse.
Leap represents an entirely new way to interact with your computers. It’s more accurate than a mouse, as reliable as a keyboard and more sensitive than a touchscreen. For the first time, you can control a computer in three dimensions with your natural hand and finger movements.
This isn’t a game system that roughly maps your hand movements. The Leap technology is 200 times more accurate than anything else on the market — at any price point. Just about the size of a flash drive, the Leap can distinguish your individual fingers and track your movements down to a 1/100th of a millimeter.
Currently, Microsoft Kinect is the biggest player in the 3D motion-control technology. However, Kinect is not accurate enough to track handwriting. Leap Motion says the Leap is 200 times more sensitive than existing technologies.
"It was this gap between what's easy in the real world but very complicated to do digitally, like molding a piece of clay or creating a 3D model, that inspired us to create the Leap and fundamentally change how people work with their computers," Leap Motion chief executive officer and co-founder Michael Buckwald said in a press release.
"We want to create as vibrant a developer ecosystem as possible, and we're reaching out to developers in all sorts of" fields, CEO Michael Buckwald told CNET:
We want there to be world-changing applications that fundamentally transform how people interact with their operating system or browse the Web.... The goal is to fundamentally transform how people interact with computers and to do so in the same way that the mouse did, which means that the transformation affects everyone, both from the most basic use case all the way up to the most advanced use cases you can imagine for computing technology.