The Leap: Gesture control like Kinect

A new USB device, called The Leap, by Leap Motion, creates an 8-cubic-feet bubble of “interaction space”. It claims to detect your hand gestures down to an accuracy of 0.01 millimeters — about 200 times more accurate than “existing touch-free products and technologies,” such as your smartphone’s touchscreen… or Microsoft Kinect.

Wireds Gadget Lab had a detailed first look at the device.

The Leap is available for pre-order right now and will ship sometime during the December-through-February time frame. Leap Motion will make an SDK and APIs available to developers, and plans on shipping the first batches of the hardware to developers as well. An application to sign up to be one of the first coders to work with the the Leap is on the company’s site


Controling WoW with a Kinect

A first shot at implementing more complex interaction with the Kinect by the Institute for Creative Technologies at the University of Southern California.

They are developing the Flexible Action and Articulated Skeleton Toolkit (FAAST), which is middleware to facilitate integration of full-body control with games and VR applications. FAAST currently supports the PrimeSensor and the Microsoft Kinect using the OpenNI framework.

In this video, they show how FAAST can be used to control off-the-shelf video games such as World of Warcraft. Since these games would not normally support motion sensing devices, FAAST emulates keyboard input triggered by body posture and specific gestures. The controls can be dynamically configured for different applications and games.

FAAST is free software that uses the OpenNI. It is currently prepared the for an open-source release. You can download FAAST at: