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Leap Motion takes a swipe at Microsoft’s Kinect

updated 08:46 am EDT, Mon May 21, 2012

Leap Motion unveils motion control for Macs and PCs

Leap Motion has taken the covers off its new motion-tracking device for computer interaction. As the video (embedded below) demonstrates, the device maker shows off how the device could potentially replace a mouse and keyboard in a number of computing and gaming contexts. The size of a small flash drive, the Leap is said to be able to allow users to control a computer in three dimensions, tracking natural hand and finger movements down to 1/100th of a millimeter.

To get started, users plug the device in a USB port, install drivers and then calibrate the device. The makers say that the Leap creates a 3D interaction space of 4 cubic feet, allowing users to 'immerse' their hands and fingers into this virtual space and navigate their computers. Users can choose from pre-set motions and gestures, as well as create custom motions. Taking aim at Microsoft's Kinect, the makers claim that it is '200 times more accurate than anything else on the market - at any price.'

If the device performs as well as is suggested in the video, it could bring 'Minority Report' style computing to home users a lot sooner than might have been expected. Users can scroll the web by moving their finger up and down or side to side. Pinch to zoom is recognised as is rotation and using one's finger for pointing, scrolling and clicking. Both Windows and Mac OS X are supported. Microsoft has already released its Kinect for Windows add-on and SDK, although the arrival of the Leap may soon attract Kinect for Windows developers. Sensing an opportunity, Leap Motion has also made an SDK available for developers keen to integrate the device's capabilities into their apps from the ground up.

The Leap is currently available with a limited number of pre-orders being taken at $70 each. International orders are not yet being accommodated, although they will be in the future.

By Electronista Staff
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  1. Blairmc

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Sep 2003



    Looks fantastic. One can't help but think Apple would be on this already?

  1. revco

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: May 2005



    So much wow for $70. Made for poking, prodding, punching and slapping games. This is going to be huge.

  1. xX_Beege_Xx

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Apr 2005



    This thing does look quite fantastic, almost too fantastic. I pre-ordered one for the pure chance of it, but I'm awfully curious if this isn't just proof of concept or if this actually exists. I'm wondering how microsoft hasn't created a personal computer version of their connect for such a thing if it was possible.

    I'm crossing my fingers this is legit, it would absolutely transform the way we do things if it's real. Until I hear what tech they implore to capture such finite motion, I'll be on the skeptical side of things, albeit the geek in me is hoping it's real.

  1. brainiac

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Sep 2003


    I wonder if it will have

    an Italian to text translation plugin?

  1. OldMacGeek

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Aug 2010


    Hmmmmmm . . .

    With Bluetooth connection, you have a virtual keyboard/gamepad/joystick for iPads. Interesting.

  1. kavok

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: May 2010



    Any bets on when Apple makes a new acquisition?? :)

  1. zer0

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Dec 2010



    While this tech looks great and I can see it being utilised it a few places like computer assisted surgery , it still fails to address the gorilla arm syndrome.

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