This space input device from Leap Motion ( looks really, really intriguing. A "touch volume" in space (about 1m³, it seems) with very high precision tracking, in a sensor package the size of a USB thumb drive. And yes, Linux support is included — which also means (I guess) Android support as well.

Direct manipulation user interfaces is the obvious use for this of course (check the video in the link). But there's a lot of other exciting uses for this kind of technology too, when it is accurate, unobtrusive and cheap enough. Right now a lot of people are using the Kinect as a sensor for various space-tracking applications, but Kinect is not nearly accurate enough in many cases, or it is not able to track things closely enough.

One obvious* application is to track small animal activity over time, in the wild or in the lab. And once you can track it, at the level of limb movement, you can classify it. Analyse the pecking order at a bird feeder, say; or track and classify the gestures of a person while explaining something; or whisker behaviour of rats as they explore a new space.

Those kind of studies take an enormous amount of time to analyse. Anything that can free an exhausted grad student from spending their time going through endless hours of captured video is a big win, both in wasted time and in accuracy of the resulting data.

Now, we can only hope Apple doesn't swoop in, buy them up and make it unavailable for us...

* "Obvious" is in the eye of the beholder.

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