Geek Holiday Movie Season

The 2012 holiday movie season is already upon us, first with the release of Wreck-It-Ralph and Skyfall already getting great reviews and giant ticket sales.  Going from here through the New Year are some great movies that spread wide across the geek spectrum.  Here’s a list of what’s up and their associated trailer.

Lincoln: 11/9 – The Spielberg movie that tells the story of the months just before the President’s assassination

Twilight-Breaking Dawn: 11/16 – The final movie in the series.  Will Bella and her baby just eat everyone else?

Red Dawn: 11/16 – While the girls go see Bella, the guys will sit through this remake with Chris Helmsworth fighting off North Koreans (Chinese?) invading American shores.  This movie was actually shot several years ago and shelved while the movie company had money issues.

Rise of the Guardians: 11/16 – Animated movie that makes a league of super heroes out of Santa, Easter Bunny, Tooth Fairy and crew

Life of PI: 11/21 – You’ve seen the commercials and wondered “WTF”, but this Ang Lee movie is getting lots of Oscar buzz for its interpretation of the beloved 2001 novel.

Hitchcock: 11/23 – Anthony Hopkins as the director in the story of the shooting of the classic “Psycho”.  Scarlett Johansson as Janet Leigh getting chopped up in the shower.

The Hobbit: 12/14 – The first of three that will tell the story we all know, in great detail.  And for those that choose to see it in HFR, I mean a lot of detail.

Zero Dark Thirty: 12/19 – The controversial movie telling the story of the mission to kill Osama Bin Laden

The Impossible: 12/21 – The first movie I can think of about the terrible 2004 Christmas Day Tsunami that killed 250,000 people.

Jack Reacher: 12/21 – The latest Tom Cruise “getting to be a bad ass” movie

Django Unchained: 12/25 – Quentin Tarantino’s Christmas Day offering has Jamie Foxx as a freed slave on a revenge/rescue mission with the great Christopher Waltz.

Gangster Squad: 1/11 – The director of “Zombieland” takes a turn at highly stylized 1940’s crime movie with Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone

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Wave Your Hands In The Air…

Ever since Tom Cruise waved his tiny hands in the air controlling his holographic computer, geeks have wanted to also ditch their keyboard and mouse.  It seems that is closer than maybe imagined.

Later this year a new device called “Leap” will become available and from the demo video that was released last week, looks to make controlling all aspects of your computer about as easy as a wave of the hand, or a point of a finger.  The video shows off several different uses for the device, from typing, to cursor control, to more advance uses.  There is even a moment where it shows off the accuracy of the device by showing how you can actually clearly write inside a one centimeter box.  If you’ve ever used a note taking tablet app with a stylus, you know that isn’t as easy to pull off well as it would seem.

The Leap’s makers claim that the device is “200 times more accurate than any other device out on the market” and can recognize the smallest of movements down to 1/100 of a millimeter.  The device creates an interactive space of eight cubic feet in front of your computer.  Within that space the device can detect all sorts of gestures, the difference between a thumb and finger, and even if you pick up a pencil to write.  Interestingly the company is also reaching out to developers encouraging them to find different applications for the technology.  It also reportedly will work with several different operating systems.

And thinking back to Tom Cruise in Minority Report, the computer he interacted was a predictor of sorts. (Funny though, even in that movie he had to wear gloves that provided some sort of connection.  Today’s motion controllers don’t)  With XBOX Kinect, Playstation Move and other motion controllers on the market the idea that we will control devices with our hand and body movements seems more likely than ever.  But, do we really want to ditch our keyboard and mouse?  Just how difficult will it be to move away from the peripherals that are essentially native to us now?  With Apple’s OSX and Windows 8 all making a move to touch screen interfaces to closer mimic the mobile device experience it’s clear where technology is headed.

The most amazing part of Leap is the price.  $79.  They are taking pre-orders now, and they don’t say if this is the only the pre-order price only, or if it will stay at $79.  Either way, that’s very impressive for an intro price.

*edit* I just realized that the demo video never shows anyone using it for typing… interesting.


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