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Motion interaction and gesture learning

This post was written by Gavin Beddow and first appeared on the Epic blog on 11th January 2013.

motion interaction - leapmotionHot on the heels of ‘The World’s Largest Consumer Electronics Show’, CES Las Vegas, Epic is buzzing with discussions around the latest technologies and the next big thing.

We’ve been aware of LeapMotion for some time, but they seem to be creating a real buzz at the CES show – quite rightly in our opinion.

What is LeapMotion?

leapmotion

In a nutshell, LeapMotion is a tiny 3D motion sensor that you plug into your computer. Using your hands and fingers, you can interact with your computer without touching a traditional peripheral device (e.g. mouse or keyboard).

Why is this so exciting?

Whilst I think we’re a long way off a true, intuitive Minority Report (the popular science fiction film) style of using computer devices, the prospect and evolution of this technology is extremely appealing, especially when using computers for learning.

leapmotionIn fairness, LeapMotion isn’t the only technology company exploring and developing in this space. Microsoft have been pushing the boundaries of this type of interaction with Kinect for Xbox. Last year they released an SDK (Software Development Kit) for Kinect for Windows. Kinect also goes somewhat further than LeapMotion, as it can track full body interactions.

Distilled from discussions around the water dispenser and lively debates in the mobile team, we’ve been talking about some great ideas for how Epic could use this technology in our learning products. A few of my favourites are:

  • Onboarding –exploring interactive maps
  • Product knowledge – exploring and interacting with products in 3D
  • Healthcare – exploring and interacting with the human body or practicing drug calculations
  • Healthcare – rehabilitation and sensory input
  • Language – learning sign language
  • Coaching and mentoring – detecting and assessing body language (one for the Kinect)
  • Presentation skills – ‘SingStar’ style assessment of speech delivery

Of course, any learning with a gaming focus would work quite nicely with this type of interface!