What are the implications for education? It is great time to be alive, isn’t it?—TBH
When Tom Cruise swiped and pinched his way through a computer interface in 2002’s Minority Report, audience-goers were wowed. Here was a compelling glimpse at the future of the computer interface, one no longer tethered by the dreary, decades-old mouse. Ever since, the public — especially tech reporters — has waited for real-world technology to catch up. And while Microsoft’s (MSFT) wildly-popular Kinect controller has made great strides, a new $70 peripheral due out this winter called “The Leap,” is poised to take things further.
Co-founded by Michael Buckwald and David Holtz, Leap Motion’s mini-candy bar-shaped device connects to a computer via USB and emits infrared light that recognizes objects — arms, hands, fingers, pens, even chopsticks — within a distance roughly equivalent to arm’s-length. The key to Leap is that it’s 100 times more accurate than the current version of the Kinect sensor. Whereas the Kinect will recognize hand movements, Leap’s creators argue their creation is so fine-tuned, it registers the slightest finger quiver with no perceptible delay. The possibilities for such advanced (and inexpensive) technology could be endless, but at the very least, it means quick and hyper-accurate navigation across desktop applications. When Leap launches, it will already be backwards compatible with Windows 7 and 8 as well as Mac OS X, allowing basic navigation through the operating system and web surfing. The company is also releasing an SDK and giving sensors to select developers who want to develop for the system.
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