Leap Motion has unveiled a new motion-tracking device that is not only significantly smaller than the Kinect for the Xbox 360, but allegedly 200 times more accurate than Microsoft’s device.In a not-so-ambiguous dig at the Xbox add-on, the company describes their product thusly:
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.
The device is so accurate, the company claims, that it can track the movement of the tip of a pen, thereby being able to sense handwritten text.
The applications for gaming in the vein of the Kinect and the PlayStation Move are obvious, and underscored by the below video in which mobile classics Fruit Ninja and Angry Birds, and even Counter-Strike, make an appearance:
The company asserts that the device creates an 8-cubic-foot interactive space. It is unclear whether the entire body can be tracked in this space, but the above video and all the accompanying screenshots show the device being used with a desktop or laptop computer, with only the hands being used for input. This might be the case in order to highlight the accuracy of the device, i.e. that the fingers can be consistently tracked unlike other motion-tracking peripherals, but I would not be surprised if the device was designed to be used sitting at a computer, and not as an interface involving the whole body. If so, despite the dig at the Kinect, this wouldn’t necessarily be a competitor in the active casual gaming space.
Either way, if the device can truly serve as a replacement for the mouse, as the company claims, it would bring us one step closer to a Minority Report-like future, and provide some new types of gaming experiences, even if relegated to your computer chair or couch.