Leap Motion's Controller - Technology with an Impact

Friday Apr 26th 2013 by Bradley Jones
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Leap Motion's Controller is likely one of the coolest new devices coming. The target date has slipped, but expectations are for a summer arrival.

The ship date for Leap Motion’s motion controller has slipped to July 22, 2013. They are stating that they have 600,000 leap devices manufactured, but that they are testing to make sure they are the best they can be.

I've mentioned it before; however, if you are not familiar, Leap Motion makes a device in the same category as Microsoft’s Kinect. It is motion sensor that will be able to read hand gestures. The key difference is that the Leap Motion device is focused on movement and does not work as a video or sound unit. Because of this, it has a smaller form factor and can sit in front of your computer.

Of course, the best way to understand the product if you are not familiar with it is to see it in action. Here is Leap Motion’s video:

As you can see, to some extent, the Leap Motion controller can be used to enable touch without touching the screen. It can also give you the ability to do 3D manipulations. The result of this could be a device that has a big impact on how you interact with your computer.

Like any good device, this one also has an API that you can tap into. Since their product hasn't released yet, they’ve guarded the Leap Motion development API pretty closely. While I personally think that is a goofy approach, I'm sure they have their reasons for blocking most developers from the tools at this time. Of course, once the API I full released, it will be interesting to see what applications are created or to see how existing applications tap into the controller's abilities. I'll be happy to see more than just Google Earth manipulations!

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