Introduction: #rethinkphone: SmartPhone W/ Motion Action


As I was performing some research on Leap Motion Controllers (3D Gesture Sensor Controller) and interfacing with microcontrollers such as Arduino, and computers such as Intel Edison or Raspberry Pi, I immediately thought of a new phone concept / idea. It occurred to me that having 3D gestural input on a phone or a tablet can open doors to a plethora of new opportunities and uses, enhancing their capability!

Companies like Samsung have incorporated gesture swipe and eye scroll into their phones using the front camera; however, these few gestures and incomplete hardware cannot provide full accessibility or enhance the capability of a phone to the extent described below.


Imagine the possibility of having your handheld device sense your gestures and use them to control whatever you like. The possibilities are endless! With the Motion Action feature (built-in Leap Motion Controller) you can browse through channels and control your TV. Just keep the device on your lap or a table face-down and swipe, zoom, pinch, select, rotate, tap, draw, manipulate 3D objects, etc. Not only can you just control your TV, but even business presentations (just keep on desk in front of you and gesture through), explaining charts (like the movies, increasing bars graphs, manipulating dots in a line graph), 3D models, and even constructing CAD 3D models, etc. Also a great feature for makers, and engineers. Whether an artist coloring or designing a sculpture, an animator creating scenes, or a university professor explaining the anatomy of a rocket (in 3D), the Motion Action feature works for them all. And even an ordinary person just looking to play a mini game, just use your phone as a 3D motion controller for your game. Imagine being like Tony Stark and manipulating 3D Holographic models, constructing them, only this time, the Hologram is on the TV or a monitor.

Having the ability to sense 3D environment in your handheld device, gives you the freedom to control, create, and manipulate anything right from the palm of your hands, just keep the device under your hands and gesture away! It also gives developers a new environment to work with and provide you with new apps and possibilities for your device.

The Motion Action feature is the next big thing, and it may just seem cool right now, but once implemented, you will not be able to live without it, it will become a necessity.


So how could we test this? To test this we can connect a Leap Motion Controller to a smartphone using a MicroUSB / Lightning Connector to a MicroUSB cable. Further, we can develop a basic smartphone app (To get started, free app development courses available at Udacity) that includes a block in a 3D environment, that we can project onto a SmartTV or a wireless monitor and just use the basic Leap Motion SDK (to learn more about Leap Motion SDK, visit their Developer Site) to manipulate a block (i.e. rotate, make larger, manipulate vertices to create a new 3D shape, etc.).


As this product idea / concept gains popularity in the world and developers enjoy tinkering with handhelds and Leap Motion Controllers (instructions above), manufacturers will be interested to put my idea into effect. So please spread the word!


The possibilities are truly endless and you have the power to make this dream come true, so please comment on what you would use this feature for, it would be amazing to hear your innovative uses! And if you believe in the power of this feature, as many of the people I talked to do, then please vote for my Instructable! This is how I will #rethinkphone. It is the ideas of today, that turn into the possibilities of tomorrow!

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