San Francisco start-up Leap Motion wants to bring motion-sensor controls, 100 times better than any other, to your computer for less than $US70.
The Leap is a small 3D motion sensor that goes in front of your computer and creates a 3D interaction space of 8 cubic feet from which you can use your hands and fingers to direct your computer.
The makers of the device, which is reminiscent of Nintendo’s Wii and Microsoft’s Kinect, say it is 200 times more accurate than anything else on the market, no matter the price, and can track your movements “down to a 1/100th of a millimetre.”
“It’s more accurate than a mouse, as reliable as a keyboard and more sensitive than a touchscreen,” the company says on its site. “For the first time, you can control a computer in three dimensions with your natural hand and finger movements.”
Wired Magazine’s Roberto Baldwin was fortunate enough to get some hands on time with the Leap Motion and said he was “somewhat surprised” to discover it to be everything portrayed in the demo video above but predicted it wouldn’t be replacing the computer mouse or trackpad any time soon.
“It will be a secondary input device for most people, and a primary input device for just a few hardcore users,” he said.
If you check out the video above, it looks pretty impressive, but what might be even more impressive is that the company plans to sell the device for $US69.99 and begin shipping its first wave of units by December or January.
“It sounds too good to be true, we know,” the site says. “But, that’s what we specialise in around here.”
The “iPod sized” device, which was inspired by its founders’ frustrations with current 3D modelling technology, connects over USB and will be able to function with both Mac OS X and Windows 7 and 8.
Leap isn’t the only motion sensor technology out there. Earlier this year Microsoft launched the Windows version of Kinect, which is available for $US249.99, but Leap could become its competitor.
Whether the start-up, which also plans to invite developers to create apps for the Leap, can follow through on all of its promises remains to be seen. A lot can change and happen over the course of seven months, especially at start-ups, but if Leap Motion can deliver, what a delivery that will be.