I ordered the Leap Motion controller sometime last May and over a year later, I finally got to play with it. Scroll all the way down for the (unedited and needlessly long) video.
The packaging, as with most products these days, is tastefully minimal. Along with the controller, there are two USB cables and a manual I haven’t bothered opening yet. The controller itself is surprisingly small and light and, while I wish it were wireless, I understand why it isn’t. The sides are made of aluminium and the bottom is rubberised so it stays firmly put on most surfaces. If you’re using a desktop computer, you can probably leave it on your desk without ever having to fiddle with it.
I’ll admit I went in with pretty high expectations and was somewhat disappointed at how unfinished the device seemed to be. The controller was very sensitive to gestures but it didn’t translate into a satisfying UI experience. Some games like Cut the Rope were fun but ultimately, tiring and infuriating.
There are over 70 apps in the Airspace store and I’ve tried a few of the free ones so far. Some of them are exclusive to either Windows or Mac. One of my favourite apps is Molecules (more in the video embedded below); it’s pretty impressive zooming in and out of molecule structures (Aldrich Killian did it better) but ultimately, pointless. A few people I showed it to were quite impressed. Better Touch Tool is a Mac-only app that allows you to use gestures on the Mac OSX desktop. This, like most other apps, is hit and miss. I’m not sure if waving your hands in the air is an effective way to work on a computer; though I can see why it works well on entertainment consoles a la the Microsoft Kinect.
As it is, the Leap Motion is not a particularly useful device. It is incredibly cool but unless app developers come up with use cases where hand gestures are tangibly better than the keyboard or touch, I cannot see this taking off.
Until then, it does make for great party tricks though.