Posted by Hallie Lickteig

leap-motion-technology-gesture-controlled-gadget-3-14-2013

Turns out that 2013 is, indeed, a Leap Year. Leap Motion Inc set tech blogs and geeks ablaze this month with the announcement of pre-orders for their Leap Motion device to be released on May 19.

Leap Motion, the company that makes the hotly anticipated gesture control device of the same name, announced in Feburary that the first Leap Motion units would ship to those who pre-order around the world on May 13, and that everyone could get their hands (and fingers) on one on May 19.

Leap Motion Inc’s technology will be the ground breaking release of this century turning any desktop, and even laptop, into technology with the next level of user interface, motion control. The device, hardly bigger than the palm of your hand, attaches to any Apple or PC screen and  senses your hands and fingers following their every move. It lets them move in all that wide-open space between you and your computer. So you can do everything without touching anything. It’s the tiny device that will change the way you use technology.

The Leap Motion Controller is sleek, light, and tiny (it’s just 3″ long). It takes up hardly any space on your desk, but you use all the space above it. The interface allows users a full range of function coupled with device specific apps to browse the web, read articles, flip through photos, and play music. The device is compatible with several existing games and apps like Fruit Ninja, Angry Birds, and even allows users to draw, paint, and design with your fingertip or even use a real pencil or paintbrush.

It’s a super-wide 150° field of view and a Z-axis for depth. That means you can move your hands in 3D, just like you do in the real world. With Leap Motion apps, you can reach out and grab objects. Move them around. Even change the perspective making the interface seamless and lacking the delay in control of other previous devices.

If you want one, you can order on Leap Motion’s website or, somewhat curiously, on BestBuy.com right here. The Leap Motion Controller costs $80 at either outlet.

For a refresher, the Leap Motion controller plugs into almost any newer laptop and allows you to manipulate the screen via a series of hand and finger movements in the air. It’s sort of like having a touchscreen computer, but without actually touching the screen. Watch this video below, made by Leap Motion, to get an idea of how the small device can wholly transform your computer:

 

In general, though, Leap Motion works with your existing operating system (Windows 7 or 8, or OS X 10.7 and 10.8), via zoom, scroll and zoom functions baked into the hardware, which you plug into your USB port. Wired’s Roberto Baldwin wrote that the Leap probably works best as a secondary controller, after your trackpad or mouse, and for specific apps or games written for it; but, like most reviewers, he came away very impressed by the little gizmo’s accuracy and speed.

Learn more by visiting the company’s site, here.

Images via [1, 2]