The Leap Motion hacks just keep coming. The motion-controlled gadget still hasn’t hit our shelves, but eager engineers are already hooking their developer kits up to all the electronics they own.
Electrical engineer Bryan Brown has created a hack that lets you control a model boat just a like a child flying an imaginary aeroplane with their hand — lean your hand left and the boat turns left, right and it turns right. Tip your fingers up for the boat to stop and spin around, then accelerate it forward again by slanting your hand down.
Brown and his non-profit organisation Human-Machine Technologies envision a world of technology that we control and interact in human-friendly ways — mainly speech and gesture. He is working on a layer of software called NuiLogix which aims to facilitate gestural interactions with any piece of hardware, by allowing it to be linked with a range of input devices like the Leap and Microsoft’s Kinect.
Gesture control could be useful in hospitals, Brown suggests, where doctors and surgeons could control devices without having to physically touch them, avoiding contaminating their hands. As well as the model boat hack, Brown has also created a Leap hack that controls a robot hand.
“Soon most of the devices that people interact with will be using this kind of technology,” says Brown. “There’s very little physical contact with other people in the average person’s day — communication is done through gestures and speech for communication. That’s a very natural approach that will find its way into controlling devices.”