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// raspberry pi

When the Leap Motion Controller made its rounds at our office a couple of years ago, it’s safe to say we were blown away. For me at least, it was something from the future. I was able to physically interact with my computer, moving an object on the screen with the motion of my hands. And that was amazing.

Fast-forward two years, and we’ve found that PubNub has a place in the Internet of Things… a big place. To put it simply, PubNub streams data bidirectionally to control and monitor connected IoT devices. PubNub is a glue that holds any number of connected devices together – making it easy to rapidly build and scale real-time IoT, mobile, and web apps by providing the data stream infrastructure, connections, and key building blocks that developers need for real-time interactivity.

With that in mind, two of our evangelists had the idea to combine the power of Leap Motion with the brains of a Raspberry Pi to create motion-controlled servos. In a nutshell, the application enables a user to control servos using motions from their hands and fingers. Whatever motion their hand makes, the servo mirrors it. And even cooler, because we used PubNub to connect the Leap Motion to the Raspberry Pi, we can control our servos from anywhere on Earth.

For hardware hackers, boards like Arduino and Raspberry Pi are the essential building blocks that let them mix and mash things together. But while these devices don’t have the processing power to run our core tracking software, there are many ways to bridge hand tracking input on your computer with the Internet of Things.

In this post, we’ll look at a couple of platforms that can get you started right away, along with some other open source examples. This is by no means an exhaustive list – Arduino’s website features hundreds of connective possibilities, from different communication protocols to software integrations. Whether you connect your board directly to your computer, or send signals over wifi, there’s always a way to hack it.