More testing is needed before shipping out the Leap Motion controller.
The Leap Motion gesture-based controller has the potential to finally deliver Minority Report-style computing, but we won't find out for sure until at least the middle of July. Leap Motion pre-orders for the flash drive-sized device kicked off in February of this year, and at the time, it was promised the units would be begin shipping out on May 13. With that date fast approaching, Leap Motion's developers thought it best to put push back the release a couple of months so that they can put the controller through some additional testing.
We won’t delve too far into it again – why beat a dead horse? – but research has proven that most people’s passwords suck, plain and simple. Sophisticated geeks may shrug their shoulders and simply laugh at the newbs, but it’s in Microsoft’s interest to build a secure operating system – hence the whole Secure Boot thing. The company’s taking an interesting approach to passwords in the upcoming Windows 8, one that mixes personal pictures and touch/mouse gestures to create a log in experience that Microsoft claims is both faster and more secure than traditional alphanumeric passwords.
Though it’s not exactly curing cancer, or sustainable energy, some researchers think it’s important not to tick off every living soul in a movie cinema because you left your phone turned on. Enter “whack gestures.”
Researchers at Carnegie Melllon University in Pittsburg and Intel Labs in Seattle have created a “whack vocabulary” of gestures used to interact with accelerometer-equipped cell phones. The functionality is simple: whack your phone to shut it up. Chris Harrison, co-developer of the system at Carnegie Mellon, says, “I think for whack gestures to be commercially viable only two gestures might be desired: one to silence the phone, and a second to postpone an alert, ask the caller to try again in 5 minutes or snooze an alarm."
I think this is a great idea. It could lead to some hilarious outbursts of self-violence, all the while making the world a little less aggravating for everybody.
Linux gurus will talk all day about the security benefits of their open-source kernel over Microsoft's proprietary Windows platform, but can Linux do multitouch like Windows 7? Why yes, yes it can, though it takes a little handiwork on the part of the end user.
Most Linux distros don't yet support multitouch screens out of the box, but that doesn't matter, because France's ENAC Interactive Computing Lab has put together a video demonstrating multitouch on a PC running Fedora 12 on what looks to be be a 10-inch touchscreen display.
According to Liliputing.com, it's made possible by combining the Linux kernel 2.6.31 with a modified version of X.org 1.7. Sprinkle in supported hardware and drivers, and you suddenly have a Linux machine able to perform the same multitouch tricks as Windows 7.
Check out the video (complete with a groovy background tune) here.
During the TEDIndia conference, Pranav Mistry, inventor of SixthSense, a wearable device that enables new interactions between the real world and world of data, demoed several gesture control concepts and posted a video for all to see.
Among the concepts is an ultrasonic pen capable of drawing in three-dimension using IR LEDs and and an ultrasonic receiver. While not of interest to the average user, something like this could be a boon to architectures and engineers working on cutting edge designs.
But it's the augmented reality portion of the video that drew applause from the crowd. Armed with a tiny camera that acts as a digital eye, Mistry demonstrated how it's possible to take a picture just simulating the gesture of snapping a photo without a digital camera in his hand.
"I'm more excited that you can actually take it outside. Rather than getting your camera out of your pocket, you can just do the gesture of taking a photo and it takes a photo for you," Mistry said.
MTube’s latest touch screen device isn’t a new mobile phone or netbook. Instead, the Mtube Android MID is intended as a multimedia device for living room entertainment.
It offers a 7.6-inch OLED touch screen, an ARM processor, internet access and wireless streaming to your television. You can send videos and images to your television using touch screen gestures. The details on how the device communicates with your TV are not clear; it’s likely a WIFI receiver will connect your HDMI ports (on the TV) with the MTube. MTube has been in negotiations to integrate a receiver into displays.
It’s not exactly production ready (the demo unit crashed in the video) but it is an interesting use of the Android operating system and could prove to be a clever entertainment device.
Good news for anyone who's been eyeing up Wacom's Bamboo line. The tablet maker announced it has added multi-touch and gestures to its Bamboo devices, giving users another dimension beyond the traditional pressure sensitive pen, Wired.com reports.
Three new models were introduced, including the pen only, touch-only, and one that does both. Each one comes with 512 pressure levels in the pen tip, with the active area of the tablets measuring 5.8 x 3.6 inches. The multi-touch and gestures support means users can now navigate, click, double-click, right-click, scroll, select & drag, rotate, zoom, and perform other functions all with finger taps or finger movements.
Both the Touch and Pen models are priced at $70, while the Pen & Touch runs a cool C-note.
You've tweaked everything else on your PC, so how about your mouse? That's right. The trusty input device that sits to the side of your keyboard needs some love too, but how many of you have thought to install applications that benefit the common features you use your mouse for? Eh? I must admit, I never considered much to tweak about the mouse's functionality. You scroll the cursor to what you want to check out and give it a click. It's a two-step process. Rinse, wash, repeat. What else could you possibly do with a mouse?
Spoiler: a lot.
I've found five amazing freeware and open-source applications that help you turbo-charge your ability to interact with your PC. Give these a whirl, and you'll increase your productivity, reduce your stress, and be just that much cooler than your peers who are stuck in the Stone Age of mouse operations. Take your final act as a generic mouse user: scroll the cursor over to "Read More," click the link, and prepare yourself for greatness.