Sunday, August 18, 2013

LEAP Into PACS





From LeapMotion.com:

With a wave of a hand or lift of a finger, you’re about to use your computer in a whole new way. The Leap Motion Controller senses how you move your hands the way you naturally move them. So you can point, wave, reach, and grab. Even pick something up and put it down. Just like in real life. It’s an amazing device for the things you do every day and for things you never thought you could do. Just $79.99.

It goes where no device has gone before.

With a wave of a hand or lift of a finger, you’re about to use your computer in a whole new way. The Leap Motion Controller senses how you move your hands the way you naturally move them. So you can point, wave, reach, and grab. Even pick something up and put it down. Just like in real life. It’s an amazing device for the things you do every day and for things you never thought you could do. Just $79.99.
Basically, the LEAP Motion controller is the Kinect for computers, both PC and Mac.

When this product was announced almost a year ago, I just had to get one. So I signed up, and many months later, my little LEAP controller was delivered. It's a very nicely machined little thing, three inches long, that looks like it was made by the same folks that created my MacBook. You plug it into a USB port, load the software, and off you go.

There are various apps on the Leap Motion Airspace Store, many free and many for sale. Some are games that utilize the hand-motion control, and some form interfaces to let the LEAP control the computer itself.

I've used "Touchless for Mac" as my main software interface:
Use your Leap Motion Controller to interact with your Mac.

Touchless for Mac creates a virtual trackpad in the air. Just lift your hand or a finger to navigate your computer. Browse the web, open applications and documents, and control menu items — without touching anything.

Touchless for Mac includes intro, basic, and advanced levels, so you can choose your level of 3D interaction.

Features:
  • Click by pointing your finger towards the screen
  • Scroll by swiping multiple fingers in the air — left and right for horizontal scrolling, or up and down for vertical scrolling
  • Zoom in and out by pinching your fingers
My thought, of course, was to see how this technology might work with PACS. In the rather poorly-acquired video below, I've used my iPhone to film a very brief interaction, bringing up a study, scrolling around, changing the windows, and playing with 3D.



You get the idea. The LEAP is a little unstable, and rather finicky, although part of my problem seems to be some interference from infrared burglar alarms and remotes in the house.

While I can't see using the LEAP as a true PACS controller in a production environment, I DO think it has possibilities for sterile environments, i.e. the surgical or IR suite.

I'll keep playing, and maybe with some practice and fine-tuning, I can make the LEAP work a bit better for me. Ultimately, however, I'm hoping someone comes up with a workable thought-based controller. Can you read my mind, folks? Rather short novellette, I'm afraid...

NOTE: Wake Forest has already displayed this concept using...Microsoft's Kinect:

3 comments :

Stacey Gordon said...

I have been wondering why our high resolution monitors don't work like an iPad touch screen yet. Wouldn't that be easy?
Dragging and dropping and scrolling already happen....


Anonymous said...

We've tested the LEAP as well, and echo your feedback of 'a little unstable, and rather finicky'. Spot on. Promising technology, but not there yet for professional work.

Wolf said...

I've been waiting for the LEAP controller for PACS since I first saw it as well. I'm an orthopaedic surgery resident and the thought of being able to scroll through CT recons during an acetabulum or pilon surgery while sterilely gowned and gloved is very appealing. I may purchase one and try it out in our trauma room. How easy is the installation? Is it plug and play or will I need admin rights to install some underlying LEAP software.