Controlling a computer system with a wave of the hand may seem like a gimmick reminiscent of the fictional systems in Minority Report and Iron Man, but we may be reaching that technological milestone sooner than you think. At the end of May 2012, San Francisco-based startup Leap Motion (@LeapMotion) unveiled its Leap 3D motion control system, one that is making huge advancements in bringing the aforementioned systems to fruition.
The company claims that the Leap Motion controller is “200 times more accurate than anything else on the market”– and judging by the demo video (and an independent review by Wired), that claim seems to be true. The device features a series of small camera sensors that track the user’s gestures within an 8-cubic-foot space, with accuracy down to 1/100th of a millimeter.
With these incredible specs, you must be wondering how many limbs you would have to pawn off in order to acquire such a system. Surprisingly, all of this amazing technology fits into a controller the size of a USB flash drive, and is offered at the low price of $70 apiece.
Leap Motion solves one issue that has kept gesture control technology from being prevalent in society, namely, the amount of commitment required by the user. Let’s take into account Tony Stark’s J.A.R.V.I.S., for example. Conceptually, it is amazing– but the price of such a customized system would definitely be something to balk at, not to mention that the constant waving of the arms may result in a new variant of “Wii-itis.” With a constrained (yet precise) area of gesture tracking and a price tag akin to that of a fancy dinner for two, the Leap Motion controller definitely has potential to spread.
For one, PC maker ASUS has already jumped on the Leap Motion movement, with a select line of its “All-in-One” notebooks set to come bundled with the controllers later this year. Best Buy has also entered an agreement with Leap Motion, making the controllers available for purchase exclusively in U.S. Best Buy stores and online upon launch this spring.
Finding compatible applications to interface with the device should not be an issue, either– the company received more than 50,000 applications from developers wanting to test out the product and build apps, and roughly 12,000 of them have received their devices.
Let us take a moment to consider the implications of this technology in our own company setting. Not only would the developing applications mean tools for quicker mockups, proof of concepts, etc., for us to provide for our clients, it could be implemented in many of our clients’ stores. This could mean the end of sauce-covered menus at Buffalo Wild Wings, or stations in Publix that could use gesture recognition to translate sign language for those who are having a hard time communicating with the staff.
Intrigued yet? You should be. If the thought of this little wonder controller sparks any ideas, or if you want to try it out for yourself, let your ideas be known and stop by the innovation lab! We have just received our own Leap Motion controller, and we are anticipating great things to come from it.
Humans are social creatures. They have an innate desire to be with others. To belong.
Facebook, Skype, Twitter are technologies that have tapped into this basic human need. Developing services that are creating a more social world of interactions. A world where it’s easy to find and tap into a group of likeminded people no matter how niche the topic of interest may be. And in this social world of interactions, consumers are less and less interested in brand relationships. Instead they are more satisfied with relationships with other people. Case in point, Millennials and the fact that they’re less materialistic than generations past.
This focus on social interactions and desire for “human” interactions has ushered in a new era for marketers: The Era of the Kinship Economy. A time when marketers are freely calling out relationships between people rather than relationships between brands and consumers in their advertising. They are still talking about their brands. But instead of just listing out product or experiential attributes, brands that have embraced the Kinship Economy are talking about social attributes. Brand is secondary to the social attribute it’s touting to the consumer. And these social attributes are turning into compelling sources of differentiation for these brands. Check out work from Publix and Budweiser where relationships are front and center.
Here are 3 simple exponential ideas that can springboard your brand into the Kinship Economy.