Leap Motion Controller review: A touchscreen interface without the touching

It's 'Minority Report' meets Microsoft Kinect as virtual interactivity comes to the PC. Cool, yes, but does it have any practical value?

By Rick Broida, Computerworld |  Hardware

Then there's Touchless, which effectively turns your hand into a mouse. You can click, drag, zoom, scroll and more, all via a couple of fingers mirroring what you'd do on a touchpad or touchscreen. It works, though air taps and drags can be difficult to pull off, and the lack of any tactical feedback makes for agonizingly slow navigation.

A just-announced app, DexType, will create a virtual keyboard for two-fingered air typing. It's a neat concept, and potentially a boon for someone who's physically impaired (although I expect it will be slow compared with a traditional keyboard).

Bottom line

And that's really the key issue here: In what ways is the Leap Motion Controller better than a mouse or touchscreen or keyboard? For the moment, it's not. It's more toy than tool, more science fiction than practical addition.

I do find it impressive that Leap Motion managed to pack so much functionality into such a compact package, especially given the unit's impulse-buy price. But unless you're an app developer, physically challenged computer user or gadget lover, this is one Leap not worth taking -- at least, not quite yet.

Company video demonstrating the Leap Motion Controller.

This article, Leap Motion Controller review: A touchscreen interface without the touching, was originally published at Computerworld.com.

Rick Broida has written about technology for nearly 25 years. He pens the popular Cheapskate blog and writes for Computerworld, PC World, Popular Science and Wired.

Read more about computer peripherals in Computerworld's Computer Peripherals Topic Center.


Originally published on Computerworld |  Click here to read the original story.
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