A Leap into Something New

Alex Koppel bio photo By Alex Koppel

Tonight I wrote my first Leap Motion app, which was also my first Node.js app. If that hadn’t been enough to finally kick off this blog, nothing would be.

For those not familiar with Leap Motion, it’s a small controller design to capture 3D movements – a bit like a Kinect, but designed from the start to be open for developers like me and many others to create with. And create people have – check out the video at leapmotion.com for some great examples.

My own little contribution, LeapNoise, is a simple app that lets you control iTunes with gestures:

  • Move forward and backward in your playlist by swiping right and left
  • Raise and lower the volume with vertical movements
  • Pause and play by pressing forward (like you’re hitting a big, invisible button)

I put together the entire app in about two hours, from starting the documentation through recording the demo – I was impressed at how quickly I was able to get up and running with the Javascript library.

At first glance, the SDK seems well designed; I’m looking forward to digging into it more. The controller is a neat piece of technology; there are still many rough edges (seemingly phantom events, control jitters affecting apps in the Airspace store), but those are problems that should be solvable as the software and the community evolve.

I’m excited to continue playing with the Leap Motion, and will post more from time to time on my experiences.

Check out the demo in all its late-night glory:

And, of course, the source code for LeapNoise is up on Github.

That’s it for tonight! See you next time.