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LeapMotion sensor (via LeapMotion)

 

Gestural interface devices have been at the forefront of interaction with our game consoles, mobile devices and PCs since Microsoft introduced the Kinect. One of the few companies capitalizing on the new gestural craze is San Francisco-based Leap Motion who is set to release their tiny motion-sensing device in May. While the Kinect is capable of full-body tracking in a space the size of a typical living room, the Leap Motion controller is considerably smaller in size but capable of tracking individual fingers through high-resolution imagers albeit in a reduced area over the Kinect. The 3-inch device is intended to sit face-up on a flat surface positioned in front of the display users intend to interact with as the controller tracks hands and fingers to navigate through apps and software. Although there isn’t much known about the technology used in the Motion some details have slipped out including two internal cameras and three infrared LEDs that track motion in a hemispherical area of around 3 feet. This allows the device to track smaller objects about the size of a pin with the spatial precision of 0.01mm. The company was set to launch in February or March of this year (after about a year of development) but they wanted to coalesce their newly opened app store with the Motion Controllers release to give customers a wide range of programs to choose from that are geared toward full utilization of the devices interaction capabilities.

 

The app store (known as Airspace) will feature a myriad of software types to interact with including business, gaming, music, design/productivity and education apps that are both free and pay related. The Airspace site will even host all of the apps you’ve acquired in one area (My Apps section) which allows you to not only launch them directly from the website but keep them updated as well. Initial compatibility will be for Microsoft Windows 7 and 8 along with Mac OS X 10.7 and 10.8 however there’s no word yet if it will be compatible with mobile devices but that could change over time depending on how the controller is received by consumers. The Leap Motion Controller is set to be released on May 13th for those that pre-ordered the device and will be available at Best Buy on May 19th at a cost point of $79.99 US.

 

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