The Leap is a small iPod sized USB peripheral that creates a 3D interaction space of 8 cubic feet to precisely interact with and control software on your laptop or desktop computer; it’s almost as if it comes straight from a science fiction movie (mainly Minority Report, more-or-less). Essentially, the precision device senses various types of gestures in a 3D space, and can be used for a whole variety of games, programs and applications (more so than Kinect typically working well with nothing else besides the Dance Central and Fruit Ninja games).
The Leap senses your individual hand and finger movements independently, as well as items like a pen. Its website claims that “it’s 200x more sensitive than existing touch-free products and technologies,” and that it’s “the difference between sensing an arm swiping through the air and being able to create a precise digital signature with a fingertip or pen.” Leap Motion believes that their lovely piece of technology could evolve over time and could allow the following:
- Artists and creative types can emulate a stylus or easily create 3D images.
- Using the Leap to interact with Windows 7/8 or Mac OS X (Linux is coming soon) by clicking, grabbing, scrolling and using familiar gestures like pinch to zoom in 3D space.
- Users pointing a pen at the signature line of a document to sign it in space.
- Engineers interacting more easily with 3D modeling software.
- Gamers playing more easily and many will modify with Leap in mind.
- Surgeons controlling 3D medical data with their hands without taking off their gloves.
The Leap will retail for $69.99, and a limited number are currently available for pre-order at LeapMotion.com. Check out the video from LEAP’s website below for a demonstration on the product itself!