Leap Motion shows off gesture controls in Windows

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Leap Motion is looking to drum up enthusiasm for its 3D gesture controller as it moves closer to release. The latest tidbit from the company comes in the form of a minute-long video demonstrating how the technology works in conjunction with Microsoft's Windows 7 and Windows 8 operating systems.

The video illustrates web browsing, launching applications from the Windows 8 Start Screen, and navigating them with all the usual interactions such as scrolling, zooming, pointing, and clicking in a few smooth movements. Windows 8 specific gestures such as closing an app by dragging down from the title bar work nicely too. In a nutshell, Leap Motion should enable everything you can already do with touch, only now in the air.

The company promises everything will work out of the box and that existing applications in Windows 7 and 8 will respond to your natural hand and finger movements. OS X will also be supported but functionality with Apple’s operating system will be demonstrated in a second video soon.

Leap Motion says they’re previewing this functionality before it heads into beta testing in June. Early access beta developers will be testing this functionality as well to make sure it works with their own applications ahead of release, as well as testing Airspace, Leap Motion’s curated app store.

For now software partners already on board include 3D design software maker Autodesk, “Cut The Rope” maker Zepto Labs, Double Fine, Disney, Realmac Software, The Weather Channel and Corel.

The San Francisco-based will begin fulfilling “hundreds of thousands” of pre-orders starting on July 22, with retail availability at Best Buy stores across the US, Bestbuy.com, Leapmotion.com and Amazon.uk. Later in the year both HP and Asus will start offering Leap Motion bundles with select products.

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