The Future

Ever see Minority Report?  Anything with Robert Downey, Jr. as Tony Stark/Iron Man?  Or pretty much any heavily stylized crime drama like CSI?  All of them feature a computer display manipulable without a mouse or keyboard.  It’s pretty cool.  When the Kinect came out, it was a big step in consumer electronics (from the huge step of the Wii) for this sort of capability.  Now, the Leap Motion is on the way.

Check it out:

Last summer, my cousin and I hacked a Kinect for the purposes of an interactive music experience.  I took some crappy video of what we did, but the video doesn’t make it clear – people could control which samples were playing.  My computer didn’t have the requisite computational power to make it as fantastic as we would have liked. But still, it worked.  One of the big drawbacks, however, was the inability to use two hands at once to trigger two samples.  The Kinect (or at least the programming my cousin wrote) used a weighted average of inputs (hands and/or feet, in our case) to place the cursor which triggered the samples.  This meant that we couldn’t use the Kinect to, for instance, play piano notes, because the cursor would slide from one note to another, through other notes.  Basically, will I be able to play chords?  Will I be able to do more than just trigger in such a situation?  Will I be able to turn two separate and unrelated dials at the same time?

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