2013 Smart Guide: Wave goodbye to the mouse



































Read more: "2013 Smart Guide: 10 ideas that will shape the year"












If the Leap is anything to go by, the days of the mouse are numbered. The 3D-gesture-sensing device lets you control your computer with a wave of your hand - and it could be yours early next year.












Developed by Silicon Valley startup Leap Motion, the Leap is the size of a smartphone and behaves like a smaller, super-accurate version of Microsoft's Kinect motion sensor. It is also significantly cheaper, at only $70. Connected to your PC or Mac's USB port, the Leap creates a 3D interaction space in front of your computer screen, in which the tiniest motions of your fingers, or gestures of your hands, can be sensed.












As a result, you can wave up with your hand to scroll up a web page, or point into a game with an index finger to move characters where you want them to go. Standard Windows or Mac applications can be controlled by making clicking, grabbing, scrolling and pinch-to-zoom gestures, the company says.












Leap Motion won't say how the software achieves its accuracy - they claim it is 200 times that of existing motion-sensing technologies, able to track movements to one-hundredth of a millimetre. We do know that it uses infrared LEDs and cameras, with light from the LEDs reflected from your hands back to the cameras.












Pointing and clicking has been a mainstay of our interactions with personal computers for nearly 30 years, and old habits die hard. But if the Leap is as good as the pre-release hype suggests, the mouse could soon be ousted, with little more than a wave goodbye.




















































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