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// Guest Posts

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.

In yesterday’s post, I talked about the need for 3D design tools for VR that can match the power of our imaginations. After being inspired by street artists like Sergio Odeith, I made sketches and notes outlining the functionality I wanted. From there I researched the space, hoping that someone had created and released exactly what I was looking for. Unfortunately I didn’t find it; either the output was not compatible with DK2, the system was extremely limited, the input relied on a device I didn’t own, or it was extremely expensive.

What if you could create art outside the boundaries of physics, but still within the real world? For artists like Sergio Odeith, this means playing tricks with perspective. Sergio makes stunning anamorphic (3D-perspective-based) art using spray paint, a surface with a right angle, and his imagination.

Creative 3D thinkers like Odeith should have the ability to use their freehand art skills to craft beautiful volumetric pieces. Not just illusions on the corners of walls, but three-dimensional works that that people can share the same space with. This was what inspired me to create Graffiti 3D – a VR demo that I entered into the Leap Motion 3D Jam. It’s available free for Windows, Mac, and Linux on my site.

What if you could disassemble a robot at a touch? Motion control opens up exciting possibilities for manipulating 3D designs, with VR adding a whole new dimension to the mix. Recently, Battleship VR and Robot Chess developer Nathan Beattie showcased a small CAD experiment at the Avalon Airshow. Supported by the School of Engineering, Deakin University, the demo lets users take apart a small spherical robot created by engineering student Daniel Howard.

Nathan has since open sourced the project, although the laboratory environment is only available in the executable demo for licensing reasons. Check out the source code at

The “Augmented Hand Series” (by Golan Levin, Chris Sugrue, and Kyle McDonald) is a real-time interactive software system that presents playful, dreamlike, and uncanny transformations of its visitors’ hands. It consists of a box into which the visitor inserts their hand, and a screen which displays their ‘reimagined’ hand—for example, with an extra finger, or with fingers that move autonomously. Critically, the project’s transformations operate within the logical space of the hand itself, which is to say: the artwork performs “hand-aware” visualizations that alter the deep structure of how the hand appears.

There’s no denying the buzz around hackathons transforming computer science education, or technical education overall. Over the course of 24 hours (or a weekend) coders can join together in massive marathon sessions, playing with real-world code for fun and prizes. On the other hand, classes are often portrayed as the opposite extreme – slow, unexciting, overly focused on theory.

I have a recurring dream that starts as a nightmare but turns into something else altogether. Imagine the stage of a monumental concert hall. The auditorium is packed, and as the audience notices you, thousands of conversations turn into a deep, imposing silence that sends a chill down your spine. Spotlights on a majestic grand […]

Hand tremors from diseases such as essential tremor, Parkinson’s disease, Wilson’s disease, dystonia and others affect tens of millions of people around the world, and the neurological and genetic basis for many tremors is still yet to be understood. Patients suffer physically, often unable to write and practice art, as well as socially, with tremors giving rise to more social anxiety.

Unfortunately, there are relatively few ways for individuals and doctors to quickly and reliably track tremor progression over time. With better tremor measurement and tracking using Leap Motion, I believe research could progress faster aiding in the treatment of tremors and doctors could have a more efficient tool for quantifying tremor.

In any 3D virtual environment, selecting objects with a mouse becomes difficult if the scene becomes densely populated and structures are occluded. This is a real problem with anatomy models, where there is no true empty space and organs, vessels, and nerves always sit flush with adjacent structures.

By creating a game that forced his eyes to work together, cross-eye sufferer and game developer James Blaha has been working to overcome his condition and retrain his brain with the power of gamification.