The technology industry has been searching for years for an input method to replace the traditional keyboard and mouse. Many believe touch could be the future, which has already proven itself with mobile devices, but is less convincing for the desktop. Others are betting on voice, with "Siri" like features allowing the user to interact with the device through natural language processing.
This all sounds possible, but like others I have been waiting for a truly revolutionary input method, something that feels like it's been taken directly from a sci-fi movie.
Introducing Leap, which represents a new way to interact with desktop or laptop computer. The concept is similar to Microsoft's Kinect, but instead of working in the living room, it has been specifically designed for a closed environment, such as your desk. Leap Motion (the company behind Leap) state that "it's more accurate than a mouse, as reliable as a keyboard and more sensitive than a touchscreen". If that turns out to be true, we could be on to a winner! Check out the video demonstration below:
Leap is currently available for pre-order in the US for $75 and is expected to start shipping in December 2012. If Leap Motion can deliver on their vision, I think this could be a very interesting product, although the six month wait is a little disappointing.
Personally, I believe the future will likely include multiple input methods, even for a single device. Meaning you could use touch, leap and voice separately for different scenarios or potentially simultaneously. For example, I could imagine typing on a touchscreen, while checking my calendar or making a quick note via voice.
Either way, I love to see new IT innovation and Leap looks very cool. Let's hope they make it to production and the final version looks and works like the demonstration video.