Leap Motion reveals super-accurate gesture control system for $70

By on May 21, 2012, 3:30 PM

A San Francisco startup called Leap Motion is showing off a new device it believes will be the future of gesture-based controls. At first glance their system does pretty much the same as Kinect, translating hand movement onto the screen, but the Leap is reportedly 200 times more accurate than existing technology and will set you back just $70 rather than $250 for Microsoft’s add-on for Windows.

The system, which comprises a small USB input device and a sophisticated software platform, creates a "three-dimensional interaction space" of four cubic feet that recognizes a number of gestures. These include things like finger-pinching to zoom in and zoom out, navigating an operating system with the flick of a finger, precision drawing, manipulating complex 3D data visualizations, and even gaming.

Leap Motion didn’t reveal much about the hardware but did say that the breakthrough in resolution comes from the software side. According to CTO David Holz, they were able to resolve "a number of major algorithmic and mathematical problems that had not been solved or were considered unsolvable."

The technology can track the 3D position and orientation of individual fingers as well as thin objects like pencils in real time, with sub-millimeter accuracy. The company claims the Leap is more precise and responsive than a touchscreen or a mouse, and just as reliable as a keyboard.

The San Francisco startup already secured $12.75 million in Series A funding and is hoping to create an ecosystem that supports a large number of third-party applications on both OS X and Windows. Pre-orders are open now and the company says it won’t charge buyers’ cards until the product ships this winter.

User Comments: 9

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ikesmasher said:

impressive. especially the whole thing about solving "unsolvable" algorithms.

spectrenad said:

but if it can only track small objetcs like hands and pens, it has a different purpose than kinect. you need to be closer to the sensor and you can't use your whole body to interact. but it still looks nice.

ramonsterns said:

<p>but if it can only track small objetcs like hands and pens, it has a different purpose than kinect. you need to be closer to the sensor and you can't use your whole body to interact. but it still looks nice.</p>

Yes well, I think most of us don't have enough space to dance to get our computer to scroll the screen.

Personally, I find this very interesting, might buy one if it gets a good rapport.

Guest said:

Problem is, as with anything like this, lag between action and result.

Try playing a high-performance FPS online where split-second actions define your win or loss. In single-player performance, sure. This would rock. But when you're reacting against a team of 24+ who're out to get you? Sorry, need to see real-world results or this is so much of a specialized application rather than "for everyone."

Guest said:

I don't think "For everyone" means people who regularly play multiplayer first person shooters. The ability to do so won't make or break this product. The ability to replace a mouse at a workstation would be much appreciated by myself and many others I work with.

LNCPapa LNCPapa said:

I was thinking along the lines of CAD/CAM - this would be absolutely awesome. I almost pre-ordered one just now out of excitement.

gamoniac said:

Let's see how long it takes for either Apple or Microsoft to buy them up and keep the technology to their own platform.

Guest said:

lol the CAD/CAM side, I did pre order one cuz of it!! immediately

Guest said:

I don't get it, how is this any different from what's already been done?

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