Leap Motion is a company developing advanced motion sensing technology for human–computer interaction. Originally inspired by frustration surrounding 3D modeling using a mouse and keyboard, Leap Motion asserts that molding virtual clay should be as easy as molding clay in the real world.
The Leap Motion controller is a small USB peripheral device which is designed to be placed on a physical desktop, facing upward. Using two cameras and three infrared LEDs, the device observes a roughly hemispherical area, to a distance of about 1 meter (3 feet). It is designed to track fingers (or similar items such as a pen) which cross into the observed area, to a spatial precision of about 0.01 mm. An advertisement video provides a visual demonstration.The smaller observation area and higher resolution of the device differentiates the product from the Kinect, which is more suitable for whole-body tracking in a space the size of a living room. In a demonstration to CNET, The Leap was shown to perform tasks such as navigating a website, using pinch-to-zoom gestures on maps, high-precision drawing, and manipulating complex 3D data visualizations.
Leap Motion CEO Michael Buckwald told CNET:"We want there to be world-changing applications that fundamentally transform how people interact with their operating system or browse the Web.... The goal is to fundamentally transform how people interact with computers and to do so in the same way that the mouse did, which means that the transformation affects everyone, both from the most basic use case all the way up to the most advanced use cases you can imagine for computing technology."
Leap Motion has distributed thousands of units for free to developers who are interested in creating applications for the device. The consumer product will launch with a price of US$79.99, and was offered at an introductory price of US$69.99 if preordered before February 27, 2013. The Leap Motion controller will ship in the week of July 22, 2013 and be available in Best Buy stores at around the same time. The current version available for pre-order requires a USB connection (= 5 feet USB cables). LeapMotion is planning for a wireless version in the future.