A company named Leap is working on a really impressive motion tracking hardware/software package for PCs. If you’ve seen the motion tracking on the Xbox or similar game systems you might have a basic idea of the potential, but Leap has made some huge improvements to the resolution of what can be tracked. It’s tracking fingertips to sub-centimeter accuracy levels, opening up new possibilities for human-machine interaction. The cost? A mere $70, which also means that you can expect this to become ubiquitous in future PCs.
In addition to the website linked to above, here’s a cool demo by the company’s CTO:
Unless you’re one of the few who have been raised on a Mac since the diaper days, you’ve dealt with buying a new PC and all the software that it comes pre-loaded with (well, unless you’ve bought a high-end workstation from HP or similar companies, those I’ve found to be thankfully free of that junk!). The software shipped on consumer PCs is sometimes helpful, but more often than not, just slows down your computer and becomes an annoyance with pesky popups asking you to upgrade. With the arrival of the Microsoft Store comes ‘Microsoft Signature‘, a fancy way of saying they’ll sell you a computer the way they originally intended. Just the OS, none of the garbage. Well not quite…it does include Zune software, Microsoft Live Essentials, and other software that Microsoft wanted to ship you. So in that respect it’s a lot like what a third-party computer company would sell. However, I do think you’re better off…I’ve seen a lot of crap come from those third party computer companies and dealt with plenty more that wanted to install itself when I’d upgrade my computer. It’s more in line with what Apple does, they provide software that is typically better integrated than third party solutions. Check it out here.
I found an empty arcade game cabinet on Craigslist for $20, so that’s kick-started my MAME system build. Starting out with a fan-less Shuttle XS35 system, with a 16GB compact flash card for storage. Installing an OS onto a barebones system can be tough without an optical drive, but I cobbled together a functional (but slow) external drive setup using an old IDE drive and external hard drive enclosure. Did I mention it’s slow? Well no matter, it’s just for the OS install, then everything will be done over the network. Stay tuned here for updates as the build progresses.