Leap Motion Controller is a sensor technology developed by Leap Motion Inc. to use hand and finger motion as input to a computer like keyboard and mouse. The device has found its various applications in art and design, gaming, education, medical, CAD, and virtual reality.
Unlike the very popular touch screen system, Leap Motion controller is a non-contact based device. The Leap Motion Controller can be connected to a laptop or a desktop computer using a USB port. The working technology of the Leap Motion sensor is very simple. It consists of two cameras that are used to track the reflected light emitted through three infrared LED sources. The wide angle lenses enable the sensor to create a semi-hemispherical interaction space of about eight cubic feet.
The sensor has an effective working range of 2 feet. This limitation is due to the fact that the light emitted by LED cannot propagate properly beyond this distance as the intensity of LED source is heavily dependent upon the current that it draws from the USB. The USB controller of the device reads and stores data into its memory for resolution adjustment. The data is then sent to the motion tracking software that is developed by Leap Motion Inc. The software then performs 3D reconstruction using a customized algorithm.
Once the 3D reconstruction is done, the tracking algorithm then comes into action. The tracking algorithm then correlates the 3D data with the objects in the space. Various filters are then applied for smooth coordination between the objects in space and the 3D data. The output is a series of tracked frames and can be sent using a specialized protocol to communicate with leap motion control panel, web libraries and other applications.
The Leap Motion device has found its application in various fields. Various universities are using Leap Motion technology in virtual and augmented reality research. The device is heavily used in gaming as it can be integrated easily into any PC-based gaming environment. The device has found its usage in medical learning using 3D visualization. In a nutshell, the Leap Motion technology is the future of motion-based sensing.