Leap Motion is developing a cheap ($70), more precise (down to 0.01 mm), and much smaller (think “pack of gum” proportions) motion controller. Currently taking pre-orders, the Leap Motion is scheduled to ship between December and February, and with it will come a new market of third party apps designed to take full advantage of the device.
The key to the Leap Motion system is better algorithms. This means it could be adapted to use other kinds of sensing than infrared such as radar or light.
LIDAR uses ultraviolet, visible, or near infrared light to image objects and can be used with a wide range of targets, including non-metallic objects, rocks, rain, chemical compounds, aerosols, clouds and even single molecules.
Vastly improved 3D sensors at lower cost would accelerate the development, capabilities and adoption of robotics and robotic cars.
This trend would also be enhanced with the improvements in voice recognition from systems like Apples SIRI.
Leap motion has discussed making their system as small as a coin. This means the system should get cheaper and added to all smartphones and tablets and incorporated into other gadgets.
Perfected voice recognition and near micron accurate 3D sensing would transform smartphones. They could combined with augmented reality glasses for gesture and voice input while interacting with virtual projected images.