LeapMotion and I part 2: Integration in the greater hardware ecosystem

Well, it has been nearly three weeks since I first posted about the LeapMotion. It turned out to be fairly disruptive of the paradigm between trackpad and mouse, and I’ve since re-balanced what each part of the hardware pie is responsible for doing. I think I’ve arrived at a decent use for all three, and I’ll show you below.

Part One: The mouse

My mouse used to have a ton of behaviours mapped to it; the LeapMotion has since garnered most of these. Now all it does is an automatic screenshot, and opening the Chromium Web Apps Launcher:

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It also has a a Chromium-specific option, opening a new tab via a two-finger swipe up:

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I’ve replaced a lot of mouse function, especially with Chromium, with the leapmotion.

Part Two: Leapmotion and the kitchen sink

One tip: Elevate the Leapmotion on a small box or stand of some kind. It being a few inches above all the other stuff increases its sensitivity quite a bit.

I’ve given the Leapmotion a massive global gesture list, and five or so Chromium-specific gestures, as well:

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The Leapmotion’s sensitivity combined with the sheer flexibility of Better Touch Tool is simply outstanding. It rarely misses gestures, never freezes or crashes, and simply…just works. My experience with it on W8 has not been as good, mainly due to the sheer poorness of the ‘Touchless’ mouse emulator.

Even emulating certain functions-like refreshing the page, scrolling with the space bar, and returning to the top page-all work very well with Better Touch Tool and the LeapMotion. About all I do with the mouse is selecting reply and post fields.

4. The Trackpad

What the LeapMotion does not do well is window resizing, of which Better Touch Tool has a wide variety of options. My trackpad used to be the primary system-gesture activator, but with the LeapMotion sensor’s sheer versatility and sensitivity beyond window resizing, it’s become the primary device to automatically resize application windows:

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I also have a four-finger sequenced tap that launches a quit all applications applescript.

Apple’s wireless trackpad is solidly made and of an equal caliber to the trackpads included in Macbooks, and handles this highly specific gesture set exceptionally well.

5.

In closing, the Leap is a solid device with a lot of potential that has not been reached yet. Their app store recently reached 1 million downloads and nearly 100 different applications, most either free or less than five dollars. It’s definitely brought a new vibrancy to my hardware ecosystem, and I’ll post more about it as the software available to use with this device matures.

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