Leap Motion Controller Review

Leap Motion Controller Review
Leap Motion Controller

Few products have generated as much hype as the Leap Motion gesture controller over the past couple of years; none have so miserably failed to live up to their billing. Although it’s posited as a device that allows you to control your PC with the waft of a hand, we found the Leap Motion actually delivered a fist-gnawingly frustrating experience.

In theory, the Leap Motion Controller allows you to navigate your desktop via natural pointing gestures, and to select items on the screen by poking towards them. In our tests, on a variety of laptop and desktop PCs, we did indeed find it just about possible to scroll through the Windows 8 Start menu by waving a hand in front of the screen.

Even with a steady hand, however, we found the onscreen pointer often wobbled uncontrollably, while at other times it was impossible to target items at the edges of the screen, or to locate the pointer at all. And while the Leap Motion Controller theoretically offers multiple screen support, we had the devil’s own job trying to shift the pointer from our main desktop monitor on to a secondary laptop screen. No degree of fiddling with the software’s numerous accuracy and calibration settings resulted in a satisfactory experience.

Another big problem was selecting items. The Leap Motion sensing area is divided into two zones: the “hover zone”, away from the monitor, where the device recognizes gestures, and the “touch zone”, which detects the equivalent of left mouse-button clicks. The invisible dividing line between these two zones is directly above the sensor, but we found we had to dangle a finger in the touch zone for a good couple of seconds for a “click” to be recognized. It’s a slow process, and trying to accurately select a small item – such as a link on a web page, for example – borders on the impossible.

The problem in part is that the Leap Motion Controller is quite a rudimentary device. Whereas Microsoft’s Kinect uses a combination of RGB camera, depth sensor and motorized pivot to accurately track the motion of the user’s entire body, Leap Motion relies purely on two cameras and three infrared LEDs mounted inside a static 3in box.

The problem in part is that the Leap Motion Controller is quite a rudimentary device. Whereas Microsoft’s Kinect uses a combination of RGB camera, depth sensor and motorized pivot to accurately track the motion of the user’s entire body, Leap Motion relies purely on two cameras and three infrared LEDs mounted inside a static 3in box.

The problem in part is that the Leap Motion Controller is quite a rudimentary device. Whereas Microsoft’s Kinect uses a combination of RGB camera, depth sensor and motorized pivot to accurately track the motion of the user’s entire body, Leap Motion relies purely on two cameras and three infrared LEDs mounted inside a static 3in box.

[source: PcPro]

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