Leap Motion – Most useless tech 2013 (now 2014) award

At least, that’s what I award it. Has to be my worst purchase this year, the thing just does not work as promised. Controlling your PC with it is impossible to do with any amount of proficiency, its so inaccurate and unreliable, and the software is badly designed.

Some specifics:-

– The difference between moving the mouse pointer over something and clicking it, is signalled by moving your finger towards the screen across the ‘touch’ threshold. However that threshold keeps moving towards and away from your monitor it is NEVER in the same place, and so completely fails as a user interface.

– It sees your thumb/hand as a finger quite often so thinks your using two (or three) fingers when your only using one or two, which prevents the gesture recognition from working properly.

– It’s almost impossible to calibrate – I spent the best part of 5 minutes trying to get it to calibrate before I managed it (and no real confidence its properly calibrated)

– Scrolling requires this awful circular motion so your hand is moving in an out of (the ever changing) touch zone

– Gestures have to be done SSSSLLLLOOOOWWWWWLLLLLYYYY or else it just can’t recognise them (it even tells you this in the instructions).

– Lastly, its tiring to use. Your arms are aching after 10 to 15 minutes using it.

There are some other issues with it too, for instance, PC won’t boot with it plugged in it hangs at post. There was loads of trouble getting the device to be recognised by windows, in the end it would only work in one USB port, and only then after messing about updating drivers in device manager / disabling reenabling – so much messing about that I don’t remember exactly what I had to do now to get it going.

Lastly, support is non existent – I logged 3 calls, 3 separate issues on release day (weeks ago) and to date not a single one has been replied to.

Take my advice, don’t waste your money in this tech. At best its a rubbish game controller backed by an app store full of rubbish games.



The other day I decided to give this kit another go, this time on my Win 8 media centre PC, and I have to say … ITS AS BAD AS EVER, in fact it was possibly even worse. I did manage to get calibration to work this time, but it didn’t matter much. I was trying the tutorial for controlling windows with it, and it kept telling me I was touching too fast, and I was moving so incredibly slowly it was ridiculous. Also attempting to scroll by waving in and out of the touch zone hardly worked at all, probably 1 in 10 swipes resulted in the desired action. Plus, as before the touch zone keeps moving, the finger detection is inaccurate – its just totally not fit for purpose.

So, I award this tech. Most useless tech award 2014 as well.


Maplin’s description of it makes me laugh, how can they claim these things about this kit:-

* It accurately senses your hands and fingers up to 1/100th of a millimeter, with no latency.

Firstly it is far from accurate. Pointing with one finger is often interpreted as two fingers, and two fingers as three fingers. Rendering it USELESS as an input mechanism for controlling windows.

Secondly, no latency is clearly a lie, as that is physically not possible.

About austinfrance

Technical Developer @ RedSky IT / Explorer Software
This entry was posted in PC and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Leap Motion – Most useless tech 2013 (now 2014) award

  1. R.L. says:

    Complete waste of time and money… Total marketing scam. Unuseable.

  2. Thanks for the info Oz. I thought I’d wait a little for it to mature and I’ve seen some demo’s on YouTube of interesting app/game overlays but I imagine I would have the same experience as you and throw it against a wall after half an hour. 🙂

  3. wizardnow says:

    Beside not being a stable product. The installer they used hijacked my browsers. Crap.

  4. Prof. Michael O. Zimmermann says:

    I have a) waited 18 months to get mine b) found the hardware unusable.
    The hardware is sleek and probably well designed, BUT, for me or any one of us FIRST and FOREMOST it should work as a replacement of my mouse or trackball. It doesn’t.
    I have been in touch with the team, told them that what it should do is simply to convert ANY screen into a touchscreen and work just like my tablet. That software should be FREE and come with the controller!!! Period!!! All the other software is just pure play and no use.
    Get on with it LEAP or go bankrupt!

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