×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

The Leap: Gesture Control Like Kinect, But Cheaper and Higher Resolution

samzenpus posted about 2 years ago | from the all-the-better-to-track-you-with dept.

Hardware 192

MrSeb writes "It seems Minority Report-style computer interfaces might arrive a whole lot sooner than we expected: A new USB device, called The Leap, creates an 8-cubic-feet bubble of 'interaction space,' which detects 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. Unfortunately Leap Motion (the company behind the Leap) is being very tight-lipped about the technology being used, but it's probably some kind of infrared LIDAR (radar, but using light), or perhaps a high-resolution version of Kinect (which only uses a 640x480 camera). It's available to pre-order for $70 — and developers can register for a free device + SDK."

cancel ×
This is a preview of your comment

No Comment Title Entered

Anonymous Coward 1 minute ago

No Comment Entered

192 comments

What's wrong with keyboards? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40066077)

Why do we need all these fucking gestures and shit? I guess most people still haven't figured out how to TYPE.

Re:What's wrong with keyboards? (2)

ArcherB (796902) | about 2 years ago | (#40066187)

Why do we need all these fucking gestures and shit? I guess most people still haven't figured out how to TYPE.

It's a workout trying to get connect to recognize what I'm doing, but even if it were more accurate, I still have to hold my arms out to simply find out where the "pointer" is.

A mouse is still a better pointing device. A flick of the wrist is much more efficient in all ways than a wave of the arm.

now imagine a flick of the fingers (5, Insightful)

Chirs (87576) | about 2 years ago | (#40066269)

I would love to be able to lean back, rest my elbows on my chair armrest, forearms vertical, and control stuff by moving my fingers around. Much less strain on the wrists.,since the hands would be directly over them and in a neutral position.

Re:What's wrong with keyboards? (4, Insightful)

alexborges (313924) | about 2 years ago | (#40066543)

Missing the point: it is not about computers, its about a wall mounted intelligent tv with automatic voice-command recognition that can turn your coffee on or off, download your tv episodes ...etc.

The future for computers has always been ubiquity, invisibility and support for daily shit.

Re:What's wrong with keyboards? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40066637)

Actually, I don't expect that I'll ever need that much computer assistance for my daily shit. Invisible or otherwise.

Re:What's wrong with keyboards? (4, Insightful)

Cinder6 (894572) | about 2 years ago | (#40066727)

It's never been about need. We don't need the vast majority of technology out there. All you really need is access to food and water, a nice cave to shelter you from the elements, and a way to keep warm. Technology--especially tech such as this--is supposed to make things easier and/or improve quality of life.

"We don't need that" is rarely a good argument. Instead, you should investigate whether the proposed solution will make things better or worse, or have no impact (in which case you don't have to waste resources on it).

Re:What's wrong with keyboards? (3, Insightful)

Defenestrar (1773808) | about 2 years ago | (#40066879)

I'd be interested in having the (cooled down) hot water lines in my house purged when I walk into the bathroom in the morning, or the kitchen preparing and cooking my dinner to be ready when my car tells it I'll be home. For that matter, I'd be interested in reading a book all the way home while my car navigated, accident free, through smoothly flowing optimized traffic. Waving at my computer to make 3-D spatial adjustments instead of using a planar pointer just sounds like a good idea.

Re:What's wrong with keyboards? (5, Informative)

nschubach (922175) | about 2 years ago | (#40067441)

I'd be interested in having the (cooled down) hot water lines in my house purged when I walk into the bathroom in the morning

That can be done by a plumber... or yourself if you are ambitious. Run a return line from your bathroom branch of your plumbing to a lower point on your water heater (there's a drain valve at the bottom... you can 'T' off before that) and natural convection of water will ensure that your pipes are always "charged" with hot water from your water heater. It's called a hot water loop or a recirculating loop.

Link [askthebuilder.com]
Page 5 [solardirect.com] (You can usually forgo the pump if your water heater is in the basement)

Re:What's wrong with keyboards? (2)

Belial6 (794905) | about 2 years ago | (#40068229)

That isn't really what he was asking for. He doesn't want to cool all that water by constantly running it through a radiator. He also doesn't want to heat his house by turning his plumbing into a radiator that is always running full blast.

You are right that he can do it though.

This will pump the cold water out of the hot water pipe into the cold water pipe for $169.92:
http://www.smarthome.com/54001/Chilipepper-Sales-Inc-CP6000-Hot-Water-Demand-Pump/p.aspx [smarthome.com]

And this will make it happen when you enter the room for $34.99:
http://www.smarthome.com/2420M/Skylink-Wireless-INSTEON-Motion-Occupancy-Sensor/p.aspx [smarthome.com]

Re:What's wrong with keyboards? (1)

Delwin (599872) | about 2 years ago | (#40067209)

I think you missed the point of his comment. I don't think I'll need much computer assistance for my daily bathroom break either. Now one that will help me by tying my coffee pot to my alarm might be welcome... but somehow I just don't think a computer will help me defecate.

Re:What's wrong with keyboards? (4, Funny)

FatdogHaiku (978357) | about 2 years ago | (#40067347)

Actually, I don't expect that I'll ever need that much computer assistance for my daily shit. Invisible or otherwise.

But... but... HOW will you manage without toilet paper sheet counting and averaging? You will actually have to remember to go buy T.P. instead of having Amazon ship you a case every so often automatically. Also, properly placed sensors can make sure you wipe properly, and then ask if you would like to upload a video of your last "download"...

Re:What's wrong with keyboards? (5, Interesting)

iivel (918436) | about 2 years ago | (#40066193)

Personally, I'll be registering for a developer kit; or buying one outright to help a friend of mine with ALS. Since she's severely limited in movement, the ability to control her computer (and thereby much of her enviornment) via small recognizable gestures would be a drastic improvement for her quality of life.

Re:What's wrong with keyboards? (1)

swalve (1980968) | about 2 years ago | (#40066577)

That's a nice thought, but if she can't work a mouse, how is she going to work this?

Re:What's wrong with keyboards? (3, Insightful)

b0bby (201198) | about 2 years ago | (#40067165)

Maybe she can move her head, or just her whole hand; there could be any number of ways to use this when you can't move a mouse. ALS is horrible, anything which can make life easier for her is a good thing.

Re:What's wrong with keyboards? (2)

Delwin (599872) | about 2 years ago | (#40067235)

Point it at your face and make twitching movements with your cheeks. This takes the technology in Stephan Hawking's chair and makes it inexpensive enough people with ALS who aren't world famous scientsts could use it.

Re:What's wrong with keyboards? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40067557)

She has some motor control, but only in small movements for her hands. She has full control of her feet, but the foot joysticks kind of suck. She can also move her head, and we've tried some of the head tracking software, but they require reflective tape to track head position and get messed up in heavy light conditions (so she'd have to keep her shades closed). We also tried voice control ... But if you read up on ALS progression you'll understand why it didn't work for long. I did a little work on this idea with the connect, but resolution for small movements (fingers/head) were an issue. Should this device actually have its stated capability - a lot of progress could be made to support people with motor control disorders.

Re:What's wrong with keyboards? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40066217)

No kidding, it's like those morons expect us to believe that different devices and applications might actually benefit from different kinds of input! What idiots! And don't get me started on those retards who actually think we're going to drag those big stupid lumps of plastic called "mice" around our desks to move a cursor when we've got perfectly good tab and arrow keys!

Re:What's wrong with keyboards? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40066559)

drag those big stupid lumps of plastic called "mice" around our desks

Trackballs FTW

Re:What's wrong with keyboards? (1)

Brad1138 (590148) | about 2 years ago | (#40066253)

Have you not seen Ironman? How else can you easily and quickly design custom metal suits?

Re:What's wrong with keyboards? (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40066259)

There are plenty of environments where keyboards aren't ideal or even possible... think about a hospital OR (viewing PACS data) or media-based presentation. Such setups could also be helpful in other areas where sanitary rules would make touch-less devices a much better solution, like food processing plants and restaurants, etc.

Of course what's wrong with only 640K anyway? I guess people just haven't learn to code properly.

Re:What's wrong with keyboards? (2)

RobertLTux (260313) | about 2 years ago | (#40066679)

well for those areas where there is a serious Ick/Squick factor they do make "rollup" keyboards that can in fact be sanitized/cleaned.
And worst case all you would have to do is roll the keyboard up and chuck it into the nearest "burn bag/Bin". (and yes these things are cheap enough that having to BBin say 4 or 5 a month should not be a budget breaker)

Re:What's wrong with keyboards? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40067613)

So you're saying why innovate new technology when there's an existing technology right now that's cheap enough to just burn up and throw away?

You work for the oil industry, don't you?

Re:What's wrong with keyboards? (4, Interesting)

Thanshin (1188877) | about 2 years ago | (#40066325)

Why do we need all these fucking gestures and shit? I guess most people still haven't figured out how to TYPE.

Typing is an unnatural interface that we've just grown accustomed to. After a while, we've become quite good at typing, but it's still an interface that one has to actually learn to use.

A more natural interface would be speech, but speech recognition is still far from the reliability of a keyboard.

On a parallel path, the mouse, while much (MUCH) more natural than a keyboard, can still get better. As soon as 2D displays are really replaced by 3D, mice would have to become 3D also.

The first problem was that 2D display (screen) and 2D gesture recognition (mouse) were easier than speech recognition. And now we are in a similar situation with 3D mice (this) and 3D screens (still crap).

The beauty of it all it that they'll all eventually converge in the same spot. Thought input and though output.

Re:What's wrong with keyboards? (4, Interesting)

h4rr4r (612664) | about 2 years ago | (#40066521)

Speech is an unnatural interface, that one has to learn to use. It is also slow, inaccurate and cumbersome. Those are the problem when using it to interacts with other humans, trying to use it with computers is even worse.

The mouse is less natural, try to show an old person one. They will prefer the keyboard. 3D displays will not

Re:What's wrong with keyboards? (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about 2 years ago | (#40066537)

finishing above reply:

3D displays will not catch on if they are still going to be stereoscopic. Holographic displays may catch on, but a mouse and keyboard will likely still be in use. Just like current 3D modeling uses them.

Re:What's wrong with keyboards? (1)

teslar (706653) | about 2 years ago | (#40067779)

A more natural interface would be speech

But that would be a terrible main interface. I don't want to talk at my computer for hours per day. And I'm pretty sure that people who, for instance, work in large open plan offices or even in a cubicle farm wouldn't want the 200 colleagues in the same room all constantly yapping away at their computers either. As I'm typing this, others are in the same room watching TV and they wouldn't appreciate me dictating this either.

Typing may not be natural but at least it's (nearly) silent. Which is what an interaction with a computer should be.

Re:What's wrong with keyboards? (1)

hamburger lady (218108) | about 2 years ago | (#40066647)

type? lookee here everyone, we got ourselves a typist.

in my day we scrawled shit on cave walls with our own blood. and we liked it!

Re:What's wrong with keyboards? (4, Insightful)

cupantae (1304123) | about 2 years ago | (#40067005)

"For a new technology to be successful, it must replace all usage cases of older technology"
  -- /. Anonymous Cowards and Moderators (apparently)

In my current setup, I'd say I use my keyboard ~90% of the time and my mouse only about 10%.
Listen: I'm still glad I have the mouse.

Re:What's wrong with keyboards? (4, Insightful)

ron_ivi (607351) | about 2 years ago | (#40067257)

Why do we need all these fucking gestures and shit? I guess most people still haven't figured out how to TYPE.

That is exactly *why* we need gesture recognition.

People communicate with each other -- and with their pets, and even with pre-verbal babies -- with gestures and not with keyboards.

I often use this as an example of why we continue to need better compute power --- until I can give my computer a dirty look or an obscene gesture to make it stop doing something I don't like, we'll continue to have a need for better human-computer interfaces.

This is *exactly* a step in the right direction -- where the computer learns how humans communicate -- instead of making humans have to learn something convenient for computers (pushing buttons / typing on keyboards).

Re:What's wrong with keyboards? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40067433)

Simply being able to scroll the screen without touching anything would help in my home-theater application, and if they can get more detailed input working, it would be useful to those of us who need to input data with contaminated hands.

What's wrong with jumper shunts? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40067545)

Why do we need all these fucking keyboards and shit? I guess most people still haven't figured out how to PLUG SHUNTS.

What's wrong with soldering circuits? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40067641)

Why do we need all these fucking shunts and shit? I guess most people still haven't figured out how to RESOLDER PATHWAYS.

Re:What's wrong with keyboards? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40067939)

There are times when gestures work. How many times have I sat in front of a DVD and made the "Come on, hurry up!" gesture at it as it fast forwarded while I was looking for something?

And not only that, but communication. It would be nice to find a way to sort of get across the full breadth of communication online, and recognizing the body language you are using while you type (Without even knowing it) might allow the computer to mark up your text in a way to make it even more effective on the other side.

Just two ideas off the top of my head...

Re:What's wrong with keyboards? (1)

mcgrew (92797) | about 2 years ago | (#40067965)

Insightful? Don't you just love it when some goofball logs in as AC with an ignorant luddite remark, then logs in and mods himelf up, then logs in under his sock puppet and "hey! I Gots me some mod points on this sucker, too!"

I guess most people still haven't figured out how to TYPE

Typing is only useful when you need to write. I was comfortable with a command line twenty years or so ago, but the mouse makes far more sense for anything except communication or documentation.

Good luck using PhotoShop (or damned near any Windows program) by just typing. Games are far less fun with a keyboard than with a mouse or joystick, and gestures could even let you get a little excersize while playing.

If the resolution on this thing is good enough, you could fingerpaint with it.

Ever tried typing on a tablet? I have a computer plugged into my TV, it would be great to be able to contol it without the wireless mouse. The wireless keyboard usually sits on a shelf (right now its batteries are dead).

Give it three seconds thought and you can come up with a lot more uses. Gees, first dumb people posting and now dumb people moderating.

Re:What's wrong with keyboards? (1)

Sponge Bath (413667) | about 2 years ago | (#40068301)

Why do we need all these fucking gestures and shit?

Angus Podgorney prefers the soothing click and clack of his abacus!

touch-free touchscreens! (5, Funny)

Thanshin (1188877) | about 2 years ago | (#40066089)

"about 200 times more accurate than 'existing touch-free products and technologies,' such as your smartphone's touchscreen"

They sure have a bizarre definition of "touch-free" if it includes a touchscreen.

Re:touch-free touchscreens! (1)

pruss (246395) | about 2 years ago | (#40066383)

Capacitive screens don't need a physical contact. Maybe that's what they're thinking?

There should be an Activator comparison (2)

zakkudo (2638939) | about 2 years ago | (#40066531)

It would have been far more interesting if they compared the accuracy to the SEGA Activator if not for the pure nostalgic value.

For the people who don't remember the activator:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ql-UZv3AS-E [youtube.com]

(And yes, the guy with the activator beat the snot out of the guy with te controller in the video. :-))

Linux (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40066097)

I would love to see a linux distro that is based around this or simular devices, changing the game around server management. Sys admins that aren't fat asses? NO WAY?

Thats nice. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40066119)

That's nice, but what I would really like is some gesture control that's -unlike- Kinect.

Fishy... (5, Interesting)

Missing.Matter (1845576) | about 2 years ago | (#40066161)

I'm having trouble understanding exactly what kinds of technology this device is using to obtain accuracy on the level of 10 micrometers for $70. On the website they only state:

Leap Motion technology is a breakthrough in computer interaction, using a patented mathematical approach to 3D, touch-free motion sensing and motion control software that’s unlike anything that currently exists on the market or in academia. Developed over the past 4 years, Leap Motion moves far beyond the current technologies designed for distant arm waving.

But that say a whole lot of nothing... Why are they being so coy about the technology behind the device? According to cnet [cnet.com] , the company says:

"It's not as if we're using lots of processing power or some new hardware that just came on to the market," he said. "This is really about a fundamental scientific breakthrough, many Eureka moments that (Holz) stumbled through over four or five years of research."

So they want me to believe they came up with some magic algorithm, and not some new hardware tech? Because as far as I'm aware, the limitations in most sensors is hardware based, not software.

Re:Fishy... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40066225)

add to that the leap itself is supposed to be that little box but is somehow able to scan both sides of your hand at the same time and see stacked objects (the video shows hands passing over each other for example) and it kinda looks staged...

Re:Fishy... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40066411)

Are they bouncing sound/infrared/whatever off nearby walls and ceiling? That would get a better 3D model of the gestures.

Re:Fishy... (1)

Missing.Matter (1845576) | about 2 years ago | (#40066527)

I don't think so, since they talk about chaining several of these together to increase the effective workspace. If they're bouncing signals all over the place, there would be an unmanageable amount of crosstalk between sensors.

Re:Fishy... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40066621)

Actually it's quite easy.... if you blast people's hands with X-rays.

Re:Fishy... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40066739)

I was wondering if they were also using the iSight (or whatever it's called these days) as well, those things are pretty good resolution.

Re:Fishy... (1)

91degrees (207121) | about 2 years ago | (#40067773)

There are techniques. The hands image could just be an application designed with hands in mind and makes an assumption about shape. For hands passing over each other, there are various computer vision techniques that can make good inferences.

Re:Fishy... (5, Interesting)

vlm (69642) | about 2 years ago | (#40066445)

I'm having trouble understanding exactly what kinds of technology this device is using to obtain accuracy on the level of 10 micrometers for $70. On the website they only state:

I'm having huge difficulty understanding how this is getting rolled out for video gaming instead of manufacturing.

A 3-d CAD "tasting" probe that goes in place of a cutting tool and touches what you're working on to measure its dimensions is about that accurate, very slow, requires some setup, and in manufacturing we pretty much don't care how much it costs (In a world of $100K milling machines and $30/hr CAM programmers, don't really care if its $70 one time cost or $7000)

If this isn't vaporware, how come I haven't heard about this tech destroying existing CAM monitoring/testing sensor systems?

Heck, 10 micrometers with low enough latency for gaming is enough to close the loop on a servo system.. imagine that, a CAM servo controller that doesn't need encoders. Weird but it could happen. Not to mention integrated OSHA detection of people entering the envelope or detection cataclysmic tool failure (snapped off).

I should be hearing about this making motor driver manufacturers and DRO manufacturers quake in their boots.

Re:Fishy... (1)

Missing.Matter (1845576) | about 2 years ago | (#40066513)

I'm having huge difficulty understanding how this is getting rolled out for video gaming instead of manufacturing.

Yes! This is something I was also thinking. This kind of technology would be great in medicine, manufacturing, various industrial applications, robotics, retail... they could have complete domination over various sectors worth billions. Yet they're shooting for consumer electronics? Seriously?

Re:Fishy... (1)

saveferrousoxide (2566033) | about 2 years ago | (#40066761)

i think the 8 cf thing becomes limiting. plus, i don't see any reason it would be good at generating a 3-d model. all the motion detection can be done based on 2-d processing. so in that respect, there's no reason to assume that it would be any better at 3-d modeling that a digital camera with some cool software behind it. Now this [techcrunch.com] might give your "tasting" probe people something to consider.

Re:Fishy... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40066765)

How would the partical laden environment of CNC machining chambers affect the technology? Coolant mist, various metal and plastic shavings either flying or obstructing the cutting surface? Having your Mori wash then measure would be about the same as touching off with a tool wouldn't you think?

Re:Fishy... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40066769)

It's possible that video games provides a good public 'paid beta test' - if it works well they can make some money selling them, but if the first version screws up or isn't perfectly accurate or needs some software improvements, it's in a context where no-one is going to get up in arms / start suing them / etc.

Re:Fishy... (2)

guruevi (827432) | about 2 years ago | (#40067153)

video measuring CAN really be that precise (given the right sensors, lenses, calibration and algorithms). A servo controller using camera's - see what (amateur) robots can do these days merely on "sight".

Why haven't you heard about such tech yet - there are various problems when applying this to your specific field
- Nobody has made it yet (well they have, but not repurposed for your machines)?
- Your machines are 100k+ as you said yourself, your boss is not going to throw those out within 3 years and those machines have no place for such newfangled tech yet.
- There are many situations where 'sight' only may not be a good fit (high speed metal cutting). And when your new tech only solves one very specific problem it's not worth investing in.
- Those markets have already entrenched themselves with specific solutions and there is little external pressure to evolve the product any further and there is a quasi-monopoly on the end product and all it's options. Similar to cars, even though we have $5 GPS receivers in bulk and $50 all-in-one GPS devices retail with lifetime map support, the built-in GPS option for a car is still $500 (or more) while all they do is just pop in a GPS receiver on the CAN (or similar) bus.

Re:Fishy... (1)

nomel (244635) | about 2 years ago | (#40067523)

I'd agree, but this would have to be something to do with infrared, otherwise it wouldn't work in the evening. I have trouble believing much information would be present in an infrared-only illuminated hand, although, the numbers they quote could be best case (well lit room with wrinkle hands).

Re:Fishy... (1)

Missing.Matter (1845576) | about 2 years ago | (#40067713)

see what (amateur) robots can do these days merely on "sight".

Sorry, even the best applications of vision in robotics at the top universities and companies in the world are not this accurate. A sensor as accurate as they're claiming should be able to measure the height of a grain of salt sitting on a table top.

Re:Fishy... (2)

ArhcAngel (247594) | about 2 years ago | (#40066523)

"This is really about a fundamental scientific breakthrough, many Eureka moments that (Holz) stumbled through over four or five years of research."

Considering that when I think of a Eureka moment it generally includes some variant of an "end of the world" scenario that sheriff Carter will miraculously albeit precariously save us from I'm not sure I want one of these in every household.

Re:Fishy... (1)

nomel (244635) | about 2 years ago | (#40067383)

Speckle interferometry? Mid infrared laser with a piezo shift mirror and a decent resolution ccd?

As long as we have windows.... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40066219)

... i need exactly ONE GESTURE to communicate with it.

Re:As long as we have windows.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40066713)

... i need exactly ONE GESTURE to communicate with it.

I'm sorry, Dave. I'm afraid I can't do that.

Chopsticks (1)

Walterk (124748) | about 2 years ago | (#40066227)

Very considerate to show that you can play Angry Birds with chopsticks. I look forward to being able to play an alternative "Angry Birds" with my single chopstick..

And the Hulk .. (2)

OzPeter (195038) | about 2 years ago | (#40066251)

Will be the only one around with enough upper body strength to continuously use such a device day in and day out
 
I should really book mark that Penny Arcade strip.

stock pump (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40066285)

Just want to mention, these guys are currently funding up and looking to put a shine on their company. With the secrecy all you're getting is their own spin, no actual info, and they are very much doing it do create buzz for their funding.

This is not a tech story, it's a stock pump in disguise. I'm not saying it's a pump and dump, but this is a pump for sure. It seems to be aligned with the Facebook IPO news to try to catch more ears.

I say this because I heard this news last week through my parents, who have an aggressive stockbroker who brings them endless "get rich quick" stock pumps. And for some reason they don't get rid of the guy even though he's pretty much all the worst things you can think of in a stockbroker. Must be a friend of the family.

Re:stock pump (4, Insightful)

Missing.Matter (1845576) | about 2 years ago | (#40066331)

I agree... they're releasing absolutely zero tangible information about the product while accepting pre-orders and developer applications. Seems like they want to bring their investors some numbers on how many people are interested. It remains to be seen if this $70 price is even realistic... and for that matter exactly what kind of technology this actually is.

FRIST STOP (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40066327)

that FreeBSD is A PREVITOUSLY

8 cubic feet... (1)

internerdj (1319281) | about 2 years ago | (#40066355)

How big an area does Kinect cover again? Nice on the precision, but the effective area is about my seated computing space.

Re:8 cubic feet... (1)

MozeeToby (1163751) | about 2 years ago | (#40066413)

How big an area does Kinect cover again? Nice on the precision, but the effective area is about my seated computing space.

Which is probably the area they're trying to shoot for.

Re:8 cubic feet... (1)

internerdj (1319281) | about 2 years ago | (#40066623)

Yeah. Very cool, specifically for someone like me who regularly works with 3D visuals. However with all this hype about it being a Kinect competitor, I'd say there is a substantial difference between this and a kinect. That is much the same way that my bedroom TV is cheaper and has resolution as fine as my living room tv.

Re:8 cubic feet... (1)

cupantae (1304123) | about 2 years ago | (#40067067)

all this hype about it being a Kinect competitor

Can you point me to that, please? I can't find it.

Re:8 cubic feet... (1)

Missing.Matter (1845576) | about 2 years ago | (#40066423)

FOV is 57 horizontally and 43, with a maximum range of about 20 ft. I don't know how much volume that is, but it's significantly larger than 8 cubic feet.

Re:8 cubic feet... (3, Interesting)

vlm (69642) | about 2 years ago | (#40066655)

FOV is 57 horizontally and 43, with a maximum range of about 20 ft. I don't know how much volume that is, but it's significantly larger than 8 cubic feet.

Come on /., lets do some redneck engineering estimating with VLM down here at the high tech redneck (server) farm.

Lets wiggle your numbers to something smaller because I'm a lazy SOB and assume kinect only gives you a square of 40 degrees and only 1 foot deep precisely at 20 feet. Kin we all take a swig of grannie's recipe outta mason jar even tho its kinda early in the morning and agree that my grotesque simplification is a profound lower bound? Its going to be way huger than this estimate.

So 40 degrees up and down is really two rather acute right triangles of 20 degrees at the pointy end and, as you say, 20 feet on the adjacent side. Essentially we wanna solve for opposite side, times two because there's two right triangles, and square it to get square feet, and call it good because we're only looking at the one foot wide layer at 20 feet away (the true volume is way the heck larger, this is just a lower bound).

OK, sstill with me here? trig, um, 30 years ago, thats what "soh cah toa" tangent is opposite over adjacent. So tangent 20 deg = x/20. Tangent of 20 degrees is about a third... you can either trust me on that because I'm old, or you can GOOG it. Some basic algebra shows 1/3 = x/20 is the same as 1/3*20 = x in other words its a bit more than 6 feet, 6 * 3 being about 18 and 6*4 being too big for 20. So times 2 because there's two triangles means 12 feet. 12 feet up n down by 12 feet left n right at that 20 foot distance is 12*12=144 square feet. So we know it looks at the whole volume (does it?) so considering just that 1 foot shell as a minimum is 144 cubic feet.

Lets think backwards here to check. So if I imagine around a 40 degree triangle flying outta my eye, and look 20 feet away, can I see the ceiling? Yeah, I guess so. So I probably did the math correctly.

As a ridiculous upper bound, the upper bound of this pyramid must be smaller than a cube of 12*12*20 feet, right? So its less than 144*20 = 1440*2 = 2880 cubic feet.

So a kinect looks at between 144 and 2880 cubic feet in volume. This took an old engineering mind about 10 seconds to figure out and 5 minutes to type. In summary yeah its way the heck larger than 8 cuft probably 2 orders of magnitude bigger. But not 3 orders of magnitude bigger.

Is 2 mm accurate enough? (3, Interesting)

cpu6502 (1960974) | about 2 years ago | (#40066385)

0.01 mm * 200 woudl be 2 mm for Kinect. That seems accurate enough to me. It's pretty darn small.

Re:Is 2 mm accurate enough? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40066609)

That's what she said.

Re:Is 2 mm accurate enough? (1)

akzeac (862521) | about 2 years ago | (#40066999)

Eh, it depends. The Kinect has only about 1090 depth values between 30 cm and 10 meters. Most of the values are concentrated in the low range.
So yes, while at close depths you'll get a 2 mm resolution, at greater depths the discretization error becomes much higher.

Of course, the main problem is not so much the resolution, but the noise and the image size. At 1.5 meters it gets really hard to track a hand because you get very few samples with unpredictable (noisy) values. You also lose samples (or even worse, get wrong values) around the edges because of registration issues and shadows between the infrared camera and the projector (plus the registration and shadows to the RGB camera if you need the colors). And since fingers are relatively thin, edges are pretty much everywhere. Estimating five fingers under these conditions is pretty hard.

Re:Is 2 mm accurate enough? (1)

91degrees (207121) | about 2 years ago | (#40067827)

It depends what you're doing. For coarse gestures, it's great. But this seems to allow mouse like precision.

Developer link (1)

FTWinston (1332785) | about 2 years ago | (#40066475)

It's 404ing, for now. http://live.leapmotion.com/developer-kit-application [leapmotion.com]

Re:Developer link (1)

Matheus (586080) | about 2 years ago | (#40066525)

Not just that... seems lots of the links off the home page are 404. Shady or sloppy or just not ready yet? /.-fail.

Re:Developer link (5, Interesting)

chill (34294) | about 2 years ago | (#40066639)

Considering they're not one, not two, but NINETEEN versions behind in their OpenSSL software (currently at 0.9.8x) AND they're running FrontPage extensions, I have little confidence in their online process for creating accounts and placing orders. Oh, and they're 2 versions behind on Apache as well.

Apache/2.2.19 (Unix) mod_ssl/2.2.19 OpenSSL/0.9.8e-fips-rhel5 mod_auth_passthrough/2.1 mod_bwlimited/1.4 FrontPage/5.0.2.2635 Server at www.leapmotion.com Port 80

Website half gone (2)

chill (34294) | about 2 years ago | (#40066517)

Most of their website seems to not exist. The "about", "blog" and "pre-order" pages are no longer there -- if they ever were. Google's cache doesn't seem to have them. Nor does the Internet Archive have a copy.

The domain was registered with GoDaddy on April 12 of this year. The domain of the registrant (ocuspec.com) redirects to leapmotion.com.

Re:Website half gone (2)

malignant_minded (884324) | about 2 years ago | (#40067863)

http://techcrunch.com/2011/06/10/ocuspec-raises-1-3m-from-andreessen-and-others-to-build-an-affordable-kinect/ [techcrunch.com]
that was posted like a year ago, i searched through slashdot for OcuSpec but got nothing. maybe there was an article a while ago but it appears to have gone unnoticed for a year here.
from the website:
How do I pre-order a LEAP?
We have a limited number available for our first shipment this winter. Early birds catch the worm – so click here to order. We won’t charge you until the product is ready to ship.
What are the tech specifications for the LEAP?
TBD.

Huh? how are specs to be determined if you have them?

Pre-order ... for early next year... maybe (3, Insightful)

thesandbender (911391) | about 2 years ago | (#40066645)

$70 pre-order for "expected" delivery next year. Article short on details, long on promises. A website where many of the pages don't function. I think I'm better off buying a 2-3 shares of Facebook.

This is better then minority report (1)

Karmashock (2415832) | about 2 years ago | (#40066673)

Remember those gloves he wore?... well, we don't need them. Amazing technology.

I wonder if it will kill the mouse.

$70 for preorder? (2)

Compaqt (1758360) | about 2 years ago | (#40066951)

Usually, they give a discount for pre-orders.

But their website says it'll be $69.99 retail. So why should I pre-order for that amount?

Someone watched me play LOTRO this weekend... (1)

BMOC (2478408) | about 2 years ago | (#40066955)

And asked me if these games work better on touch screens... I found myself for the first time questioning the use of keyboard/mouse combination for MMORPGs.

Surely Slashdot has links to someone who has thought of this?

Re:Someone watched me play LOTRO this weekend... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40067539)

I do not doubt that you could make a MMORPG with a good keyboard & touchscreen interface. I'm sure it is possible to take one of the mouse-only interfaces (Dofus?) and expand it to a good touchscreen-only interface.

I'll still use tab to cycle hostile targets and function keys to quick-target friendlies.

Could this be used to replace touchscreens? (2)

mark-t (151149) | about 2 years ago | (#40067071)

Detecting not only when you physically touch the screen, but also being able to detect where your hands or fingers are even *near* the screen? There could be some seriously cool applications for that.

I might be wrong... (4, Informative)

Lisandro (799651) | about 2 years ago | (#40067187)

... but this has "fake" written all over it.

If they really managed to create an device that tracks multiple objects, in 3D (even when stacked), and with a resolution of 10 microns they won't just revolutionize computers and gaming. I've used industrial sensing devices that cost 100x as much and aren't even remotely capable of such feats.

Re:I might be wrong... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40067229)

I would like to know how it can detect the upper surface of the hand, when the only detector is placed on the table in front of the computer.

Re:I might be wrong... (3, Informative)

Hillgiant (916436) | about 2 years ago | (#40067411)

... but this has "fake" written all over it.

If they really managed to create an device that tracks multiple objects, in 3D (even when stacked), and with a resolution of 10 microns they won't just revolutionize computers and gaming. I've used industrial sensing devices that cost 100x as much and aren't even remotely capable of such feats.

^^^ 100% THIS ^^^

For the moment, I am assuming that the original reporter misunderstood the measurement. 0.01mm is REALLY SMALL. We aren't talking about tracking hands or fingers, we are talking about tracking the hairs on said hands and/or fingers.

Re:I might be wrong... (2)

Missing.Matter (1845576) | about 2 years ago | (#40067789)

This is not a figure reported by a reporter; this is a figure reported on the Leap website: http://live.leapmotion.com/about/ [leapmotion.com]

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.

AKA 10 microns. A human hair is about 100 microns. 10 microns is more along the size of a grain of pollen.

But does it run Linux? (1)

ron_ivi (607351) | about 2 years ago | (#40067281)

If it'll have F/OSS Linux drivers available at launch time, I'll pre-order one. Haven't touch windows for years, though.

Aw crap.... (3, Insightful)

mark-t (151149) | about 2 years ago | (#40067309)

I was really excited to see this kind of technology until I saw the following on their website:

Leap Motion technology is a breakthrough in computer interaction, using a patented mathematical approach to 3D....

Patented? Mathematical? It's bad enough that companies are patenting software that is just obscured math, but now they are effing patenting mathematics itself????

This has so many levels of wrong written all over it, I can't begin to explain...

Re:Aw crap.... (1)

chill (34294) | about 2 years ago | (#40067727)

In the world of encryption, the math behind RSA was patented. So is the math behind IDEA, IIRC. This isn't new.

Re:Aw crap.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40067729)

Math can be patented, the RSA public-private key math was. As long as they have some real innovative work here and not a fancy patent for 1+1=2 then they should be able to patent. Most people have a knee-jerk "patents are bad" because the patent office is letting people patent obvious software features.

Re:Aw crap.... (1)

mark-t (151149) | about 2 years ago | (#40067841)

Math is not supposed to be patented though. Mathematics qualifies as an abstract idea, and abstract ideas are *explicitly* excluded from patentability (as are laws of nature and physical phenomena). It just gets muddier when somebody is able to demonstrate a practical application to such an abstract idea.

Next thing you know, somebody's going to be patenting trigonometry because of its application in determining the distance of objects using just two reference points and a third point on the object.

Re:Aw crap.... (1)

91degrees (207121) | about 2 years ago | (#40067879)

They're not patenting mathematics. That's not possible. They're patenting applications for the mathematics.

10 microns = BS (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40067673)

A typical human cell is ~ 10 microns.

Load More Comments
Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Sign up for Slashdot Newsletters
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...