bit-tech.net

Leap Motion gesture control system to launch in May

Leap Motion gesture control system to launch in May

Leap Motion's eponymous controller promises to track hands and fingers with sub-millimetre precision at up to 290 frames per second.

Motion control start-up Leap Motion has announced that it is finally to ship its long-awaited eponymous gesture-sensor, following a delay to the originally-scheduled 2012 launch date.

The company launched four years ago after its founders got frustrated with the experience of attempting to create three-dimensional models on a computer using a standard keyboard and mouse. Its promise of natural, intuitive gesture-based control through 3D space met with approval from venture capitalists, and with $12.75 million in Series A funding under its belt it started to develop its first product in 2012, the Leap Motion Controller.

Originally scheduled to release before the end of 2012, the Leap Motion Controller has suffered a few schedule slips along the way - but the company has also picked up commercial support, with Asus promising to bundle the Leap Motion with selected PCs and Best Buy agreeing US exclusivity for the retail pack. An additional $30 million in Series B funding, announced in January this year, appears to have been the final push the company needed to get the work finished and the device is due to hit shelves in May.

While the Leap Motion Controller will be exclusive to Best Buy stores in the US, the company has been running an international pre-order system through its website for much of the last year. For $79.99, the company promises a compact motion-sensing dongle that connects to any PC running Windows 7, Windows 8, OS X 10.7 or OS X 10.8 and provides full three-dimensional control of the computer.

The company's original desire to make 3D modelling easier will be achieved, the company claims, with the release of plug-ins for Autodesk software - with other companies expected to follow - while gamers will be able to wave their fingers madly in an optimised version of ZeptoLab's popular Cut the Rope casual game.

With Leap Motion claiming impressive accuracy for its sensor system - with the small Apple-inspired device being able to track the movement of both hands and all ten figures with an accuracy of 1/100th of a millimetre at up to 290 frames per second - a retail launch will either deliver on the company's promises to its thousands of pre-order customers - or destroy it entirely.

'We’re honored and humbled that hundreds of thousands of people have joined Leap Motion’s global community of developers, pre-order consumers and business partners,' claimed Leap Motion co-founder and chief executive Michael Buckwald at the launch announcement. 'We know people have been eagerly waiting, and today I’m happy to announce we’re bringing the Leap Motion Controller to the world less than a year after we introduced our technology. We’re taking the time needed to provide an incredible user experience and robust ecosystem of applications for consumers to explore the new power and magic Leap Motion brings to computing.'

Sadly, Leap Motion has yet to confirm retail availability in the UK - although those who are anxious to be among the first to wave their hands at their computer can pick up a unit direct from the company's website. If you need a bit more convincing, check out the company's sales pitch below.

11 Comments

Discuss in the forums Reply
Sheiken 28th February 2013, 16:58 Quote
I need this in my life
[PUNK] crompers 28th February 2013, 17:21 Quote
Sounds great until you forget its on, start doing some yoga and realise you have pulled every vertices in your 50+ hour scale model of a deathstar over to the left of the screen
GravitySmacked 28th February 2013, 19:02 Quote
This is the first I've heard of the device but after watching that video all I can say is WANT!
hampurista 1st March 2013, 07:52 Quote
Ordered! Don't mind the extra 20$ compared to order before yesterday....
Blackshark 1st March 2013, 08:27 Quote
Ordered last year when it was first announced - looking forward to using it at work for manipulating our spatial data
Krikkit 1st March 2013, 09:01 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by [PUNK
crompers]Sounds great until you forget its on, start doing some yoga and realise you have pulled every vertices in your 50+ hour scale model of a deathstar over to the left of the screen
I think it only works in a small(ish) area above the device - take your hands away to type/stretch etc and it'll move out of range.

I remember seeing this ages ago and thinking "this must be bullshit", but I'm glad to be wrong!
EvilRusk 1st March 2013, 10:21 Quote
I think this looks like a great idea. After using my android phone I realised how badly the PC needed a better interface for some things.

Since I don't want to buy a touch screen this could be it - no smudgy finger prints all over the place! Browse the web while eating crisps! Use your forehead to draw in paint! Awesome!
dyzophoria 1st March 2013, 12:43 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by EvilRusk
I think this looks like a great idea. After using my android phone I realised how badly the PC needed a better interface for some things.

Since I don't want to buy a touch screen this could be it - no smudgy finger prints all over the place! Browse the web while eating crisps! Use your forehead to draw in paint! Awesome!

for interactions like holding a 3D object, manipulating maybe the start screen of windows 8, this may be efficient, but for actual drawings, aside from a tablet, I think its much practical to use a touch screen imo
Jimbob 1st March 2013, 16:13 Quote
It's certainly neat, but is it really that usefull for desktop use? Perhaps if it uses standard touch screen api's so Windows Touch Pack works etc but I really want to test it oput first.
Guinevere 1st March 2013, 17:01 Quote
Give me two minutes and I can think of a few dozen different gestures that 'could' be implemented to embellish a keyboard / mouse or keyboard / trackpad or keyboard / mouse / touchscreen environment.

Leap haven't ever come out and said 'this device will replace X". They're throwing it out there to see what people do with it.

Brilliant idea!
Nexxo 1st March 2013, 19:14 Quote
JQCP85FngzE
Log in

You are not logged in, please login with your forum account below. If you don't already have an account please register to start contributing.



Discuss in the forums