Looking at a computer rigged up to use it, you might not even notice anything amiss. This small aluminium device is the only component in a new 3D motion sensing interaction system that is set to change interactivity forever. Introducing The Leap Motion peripheral 3D motion sensor. Capable of sub-millimetre motion detection, this brand new device has been demonstrated to have seriously impressive accuracy, allowing for some very interesting, very fluid interaction possibilities, as demonstrated in the video below. The Leap System reportedly creates four cubic feet of interaction space around the peripheral, in which the user can interact very fluidly, with his computer. Demonstrations of the system working make for fascinating watching, with users playing games, zooming and panning across maps, drawing and writing, with very little effort.
Effortlessness or intuitiveness, in application, I might remind you, combined with affordability, is really what makes or breaks a piece of technology. Though not one of my favourite people in the world, Steve Jobs was a particularly big proponent of intuitiveness in interaction and design, saying: ”The main thing in our design is that we have to make things intuitively obvious”. And he had it right. A lot of his later success, putting aside the obvious massive marketing genius of Apple, was their insistence of designing the interactions between consumers and their products, to be intuitive, close to what the consumer is used to in his dealings natural environment. In other words, the interaction can quickly begin feeling natural and therefore gets quickly forgotten about. And herein lies the possible success of the Leap Motion system. The accuracy of the system might bring interaction close enough to natural gestures, that we forget we’re even using it.
Though not at all a new concept, with the incumbent Microsoft Kinect already commercially available for a while now, the Leap Motion system is visibly more accurate and practical. Co-creator of the system, and quite possibly one of the most smug-looking men the world has ever seen, Michael Buckwald, claims, that it is the most accurate 3d motion sensing system ever created, which certainly looks to be the case. Besides it’s possible role in changing the way users interact with their computers, (gaming being a particularly exciting prospect), the Leap Motion System looks to have some very tantalizing applications in multimedia, especially in interactive devices out in public, recreation or retail spaces.
Already, we’ve seen some particularly interesting applications of the Microsoft Kinect, in smaller multimedia displays, which has already been effectively used as a replacement to more bulky Infrared/IR camera systems of old.
Shipping at $69, 99 ( +- R575), it’s really a steal, for such an accurate device and with SDK’s already out, we’re bound to start seeing some really cool applications not too long from now.
Looking to decorate your house with something you cherish from your childhood? No…I’m not talking about your chess trophies, or photos of you and your family having a braai at Zeekoevlei. I’m talking about THIS…
That’s right, it’s an interactive Super Mario Mystery Box Lamp. And you hit it, to make it go on. And it makes the actual sound the box makes in the game, every time you turn it on. And every 8 strikes, it makes a 1-up sound too. And you can buy one. Indeed, you can buy one, or a kit to build one yourself, from American company, 8-Bit Lit for the equivalent of R450 to R580, if you factor in shipping. Check out the video below, for a demonstration.
Pre-built, or kit, either way….
Just purchased the new iPad? As is always the case when using newly-purchased tech, we’re usually very careful not to endanger it too much, with some people keeping the plastic on the screen for months, before pulling it off, and staying at least 12 miles away from any water mass larger than a teardrop at a Judy Boucher concert. Knowing things like that, here at Wireframe Studio, we like to help people out when it comes to technology, and here’s a bit of advice, on the dangers of high-powered lasers and flashlights, when aimed directly at your new, shiny iPad. Yes, these could possibly damage your iPad, very badly. So here’s a Wireframe Studio Tech Tip:
If you have any Wicked Laser, Spyder 3, Krypton or Artic lasers, lying around, (as we all do from time to time) or any high-powered flashlights, please, put them in a safer place. A child could get hold of them and possibly leave them activated and focused straight at your iPad screen. The video below demonstrates what could happen if you do…
As you can see, the iPad could get damaged severely, and in some cases, as you saw right at the end, a portal to could open up inside and the very tendrils of Hell could start billowing out from the sides. And fire has been known to cause burns.
The much-anticipated latest version of Apple’s flagship product, was launched today, in San Francisco. Doing away with the numbered moniker used in the previous iPad, this one is simply called the iPad, and it’s got a number of substantial improvements on the previous tablet computer. The most prominent of these, being the completely new display, which, according to the folks over at Apple, is 4 times more dense, pixel-wise, than that crappy old iPad 2. Dubbed, the “Retina Display”, this display boasts a pixel confirguration that crams 4 times more pixels into the same screen dimensions, to effectively give the new iPad, a 2048 x 1536-pixel resolution at 254 ppi, on a 9.7 inch screen.
The result is a very rich, crisp display that, admittedly, looks quite impressive, from way over here. Behind the scenes, making all that rich, crispy goodness happen, is a quad-core graphics chip.
It also has enhanced network connectivity, voice recognition, a 5 megapixel camera, updated operating system and native apps, completing the string of apps that make up the iLife suite. The new iPad, with all the upgrades and new features, still keeps the same battery life…what, no improvement then, Apple?
There is a host of other new features. In fact, here are some chaps from Apple, banging on about how cool the new iPad is:
The sparkly, shiny new iPads, go on sale on Friday 16 March and if you join the queue now, you might stand a chance of getting your hands on one. Prices start at $499 (R3800) for the 16gb, $599 (R4500) for the 32gb and $699(R5300) for the 64gb one. Indeed, it’s days like these, that wallets around the world, recoil in terror. Stock up on mielie-pap, because that is what you’re going to be eating for the next 3 years.
So there you have it. The new iPad, with a number of cool new features, the price, as expected, not being one of them. Indeed, quality always comes at a price…
..but good luck driving back from the Apple Store, with the remaining half of your limbs.
Popular image editing program, Photoshop, now has a mobile version for the iPad. Get your first look at it here, in this video, where John Nack, Pricincipal Product Manager for the application, takes you through some of it’s features.
Keen? Photoshop Touch is now available for download, on iTunes.
Check it out.