From wearing sensors all day to inter-connected appliances and self-adjusting thermostats, our environment is getting smarter. Last week, openHAB founder Kai Kreuzer posted this video of an experimental light control setup using Leap Motion’s 3D interactive technology. Take a look at what the future could hold for smart homes.

Hacking together a Philips Bloom Lamp and the Leap Motion Controller during a dull plane ride, the openHAB team created a light that responds to your hands and fingers. Switch it on/off with an air tap, swirl through colors by making a circle with your finger, or control the brightness by spreading out all 5 fingers and moving your hand up and down.

Then they took it to the next level – mapping the light’s red, green, and blue values to 3D space. Using 3 fingers, you can tweak the color by moving your hand in three dimensions – adjusting the color to fit your mood or give a magic light show. This setup could give artists and lighting professionals a new way to play with colors, or create a fun experience for children with their night lights.

Built in Java, openHAB is a universal open-source software solution designed to integrate a wide variety of home automation technologies. Kai imagines a future where 3D interaction becomes an everyday part of how we interact with our houses – and their light experiment is just the beginning.

“At first I thought that this is only a neat toy for live demos,” he writes about Leap Motion on his blog. “But having used it a few times now, I am convinced that this technology is capable of completely changing the way we think about switches and controls in our home.”

Imagine some of the possibilities for touchless motion control in your home:

  • Control the lights with a hand wave
  • Turn the heat off with a closed fist
  • Set the oven temperature with the spin of a finger
  • Browse your news feed in the bathroom mirror

What future in-home use do you want to #LeapInto?