Shut Up and Take My Money is a weekly feature about coveting the coolest, if not the most practical, gadgets and designs on the web--the kind that make you throw caution to the wind and reach for your wallet before that pesky self-control can kick in.
The gadgetry of futuristic sci-fi movies has always had a knack for leaving audiences salivating for a modern-day equivalent. While owning a time machine a la Doctor Who or catching a hover taxi with Bruce Willis in it remains in the realm of fantasy, other techie dreams are about to be realized with the up and coming Leap Motion--a highly attune motion sensor that allows your hands to navigate cyber space without the tether of a touch screen.
Remember when Tom Cruise wasn't all that crazy? It's hard, I know. But back in the good old days of 2002, the slightly saner Tomcat starred in Steven Spielberg's blockbuster flick, Minority Report. Set in 2054, the movie boasted all sorts of covet-worthy futuristic tech, including submerged albino people who could predict crime. Let's face it, the chances of recreating that was always pretty slim. The precrime lab's touch-free computer interface, however, is on its way to a Best Buy near you, 42 years ahead of schedule.
Take a peek at what Spielberg teased tech-junkies with back in the day:
And here's what Leap Motion delivers:
The 21st century alternative doesn't include glassy, transparent screens or Cruise's two-finger rave gloves, but it has a winning simplicity. All that's necessary to start the interactive experience is plugging the small Leap Motion box into the USB port of a PC or a Mac or what-have-you. The computer calibrates the new signal and the Leap's cameras begin monitoring a 3D field in front of the screen, interpreting all of your meaningful gesticulating into clicks, page flips, zooms and more.
The best part? The Leap Motion is available for pre-order for only $69.99.