The film version of Minority Report was not a model for practical or usable interface design. Millions of years of evolution have built our brains and bodies for interacting with things that provide physical feedback when we touch them. Waving a pencil in the air, "manipulating" an invisible item and looking for visual feedback from a screen, these are not good experiences. Even if you discount the "gorilla arm syndrome" that StavrosK quite rightly points out here, the fatigue of trying to perform fine and accurate motion without physical stimuli for your hands and fingers to respond to is significant.
I'm sorry to be a negative voice in the face of innovation, but this really does feel like a technology in search of a problem. What worries me greatly is that it has a remarkably high "cool factor" that would be excellent in short demos, and could be easily pitched to companies looking for a flashy feature to get a leg up on the competition. We were saddled with some dubious decisions at the dawn of the GUI age, and we're just starting to lose them as we enter the Direct Manipulation age of interfaces. Please don't let this concept of feedback-free hand gestures become a paradigm that we're stuck with in the future.
The usual approach to a 3D gestural interface is the kind of thing that's shown in the video for Leap—writing in the air, using mimed actions in space to represent manipulation of objects on a 2D screen, et cetera.
Gestures as an abstraction, like sign language or even the everyday hand gestures we use like flipping the bird, the "A-OK" sign, and such make a lot more sense. If you move away from the idea of using hand waving as a stand-in for direct manipulation of objects, and look at gestures as a form of communication, it's a whole different ball game.
Thanks for that. I still look at the demo video for Leap with fear and loathing, but using that same hardware for a communicative gesture system like you suggest is exciting indeed. Now I'm going to be distracted all day thinking about ways to incorporate hand signs into a UI.
In all of these examples, gestures are being used to interact with another sentient being. We use gestures to talk to people, not to tools.
I think gestures are great, but I don't want to have a conversation with my computer, I want to use it. I want to feel like I'm a craftsman, and not a manager of the work I create on it. (For that same reason, I'm not enthusiastic about voice recognition either.)
That being said, I probably would be excited to use gestures (and voice) for social software that was intrinsically about interacting with other people. Think multiplayer games or video chat.
When we released the first app, we got countless emails asking for hand-swipe as a next song gesture. We had felt a long ago that even though it seems natural it is completely impractical in certain context (i.e. coffee shop) and doing hand swipe 20 times starts to wear you down. It was important to try this number of times as same gesture can because to go to next slide or next photo or next album.
Hence, we ended-up picking thumbs-right and thumbs-left as metaphor: flutterapp.com/next
We will also hit our 4th Million gesture this month. That's 4 million times someone has either played or paused a song.
Please try our app and send feedback - would love to get your thoughts on this!
This is one of the best thoughtful discussion I've seen on this subject! thanks all for stimulating thoughts. I just thought I had something to share...
I'm not convinced the lack of tactile feedback is a problem provided there is very good visual feedback. Do you have any studies to this point?
Furthermore, I think basic pointing and pinching are only the beginning of the capabilities this system can provide. More complex hand signals, or even face, body and posture signals could drastically increase the bandwidth of human/computer interaction, even by supplementing a keyboard.
While I do think tactile feedback is extremely important, I won't discount the ability for humans to adapt. Should a compelling enough system be developed, I imagine any person who desires would learn and adapt to a system -- the problem here is getting the gross majority of users to adapt to it.
There's obviously going to be a lot of backlash against a product like this (and equal amounts excitement). I think the problem here is after such a well publicized film, everyone assumes tech like this is going after a Minority Report type paradigm. While they definitley have to (somewhat) pitch it like that, I'm very excited to see different ways that something like this can be used. It definitely seems like a great step forward.
I agree, you don't need to use your whole arm. It's like playing tennis on the Wii. You don't have to flail your arms around. You just need enough motion for the accelerometers.
Don't write it off. This might be Xerox Parc's mouse, waiting for Jobs.
Yes. I saw an obvious use for this in our products and it would solve a known problem we have so I immediately fired off an email to them. The sooner I can get a few of these in my hot little hands the better.
Thank You to whomever submitted this link!
I wouldn't use it as a keyboard replacement, but for other tasks that naturally fit into this type of human input.
Let's be more creative than that. Think about using it as an alternate input in spaces that a physical keyboard/mouse isn't appropriate, and also 'short term computing'.
Will this replace input on your workstation? I doubt it- but what about a large map that's installed in a public place? What about some sort of restroom or medical computing device where you'd rather not touch the surface that someone else just touched? You're not going to sit there 12 hours a day. You're going to pull up the map in the hospital and zoom/pan around on it. Why do we need another surface to clean? And in 15 seconds- you're done. No gorilla arm syndrome, no pain, and no real learning curve.
> Say goodbye to your mouse and keyboard.
I think that every new HID comes with a marketer promising to get rid of your keyboard.
When typing, you don't really wait for the text to show up on screen before going on to the next letter, and chances are you're hitting backspace before you recognize the letters because you already know you screwed up.
With this interface, you'll have no such luck. You'll type slower, have more errors, and also have muscle strain from not having a more immediate response.
I, for instance, imagine it as replacement for trackpad - I type happily on my keyboard, and I just do some slight gestures for scrolling, switching, closing, minimizing and pointing. And all while keeping my hands close to home row. It's even in similar form factor as trackpads!
I don't know why everyone thinks it will be like signaling on an airport or doing any strenous activity at all.
It's a very delicate device for very delicate input.
And that's all not counting cases where wide space hand usage would be extremely useful (3D modelling, directing a virtual orchestra, interfacing with kiosks...)
I'd love to see a laptop with one of the leap devices embedded just along to top edge of the keyboard as an alternative to the trackpad.
I image you'd need both hands to replace two mouse buttons and a scroller, and to me that seems to break the deal.
This single line is enough to help me see through their flawed assumptions. The keyboard and mice aren't going away anytime soon, just because these guys have found a way to integrate gestures with computers. I personally hate the Applesque marketing promising users to 'Own the future'. Gesture technology has been here for long and I don't see it being the future by replacing the mouse and the keyboard. Think about developers like us...no developer would find it useful, because we need to code efficiently, which is and never will be possible with gesture technology.
So, from a developer's perspective, this is something intended to be too cool, but fails to understand the basic underlying principle of the purpose of a keyboard and a mouse. Maybe, this would appeal to ultra Hi-Fi executives who want to flaunt to the world a new way of using their Powerpoint slideshows, but not the common man/developer who owns an average computer (Something like a c2d).
I was honestly expecting this to have some features like the Kinect, which developers have hacked to use it as a motion-capture system, especially for use in creating Animated movies (which is awesome because a standard decent mo-cap setup will cost you atleast $5k). This gadget is unfortunately too basic and solves a very small problem that no one really cares about, IMO.
>How can I get a free developer kit?
>We’re distributing thousands of kits to qualified developers, [...] register to get the SDK and a free Leap device first, and then wow us.
Apply here: https://live.leapmotion.com/developers.html
I like the small size and reasonable price.
Might be cool as a 3rd input device, or for specialized terminals.
But it certainly wouldn't hurt to do a quick HN search before posting a new submission.
> ... it certainly wouldn't hurt to do a quick
> HN search before posting a new submission.
I implemented the first-phase of a semi-automated duplicate detector to help people find previous submissions, and I got hate mail for it. Some people are actively against duplicate detection.
Evidence for that is what?
I can envision opening certain applications with a gesture (save you from typing the name into quicksilver or finding and double clicking on the icon). Tasks that you repeat over and over could be assigned to a gesture with great effect, like swiping a finger left and right to change windows.
3D editing could be interesting, where you move an invisible object in 3 dimensions with your hand. Anybody who's done 3d modeling or game development in unity can attest that a mouse and keyboard are limited in 3 dimensions.
Anyhoot, I can't deny it, this is very interesting.
Imagine wearing a smaller Leap controller on your wrist - you would be able to use gestures to control the Glass and mostly likely interact much more intuitively with your surroundings as seen through Glass.
Immersive VR + hand-tracking == ????
You've solved it! Congrats!