Leap Motion: Melding the Multitouch and Gesture Controls

Source: The Leap 3D Motion Device/ Leap Motion

Kinect has brought the gesture control to a new level after it was introduced by Nintendo Wii, while the iPhone has delivered the multitouch controls to the masses. This would make various industries such as gaming, surgery, architecture, engineering and design better than what it is known before. Although each is great at what they do, there have their own drawbacks.

Motion sensing technologies can only detect the hand as a single entity, while touchscreen only allow a small surface where a user can draw his or her finger. That’s why San Francisco-based startup Leap Motion decided to combine the two ideas and created a 3D motion-control contraption called The Leap. In turn, the company could possible make the field of motion control technology to go miles.

The Leap: What You Need to Know

The Leap is an iPod-sized 3D motion-control contraption. It creates a 3D interaction space that is four cubic feet in size, and it can track the motion of user’s hands down to his or her individual fingers. Leap Motion claims that it is accurate enough to detect touch-control gestures such as pinch-to-zoom and single-finger whipping action.

It can also track movements to a hundredth millimeter, making it 200 times more accurate than anything else on the market. As stated on the company’s official blog:

“A revolutionary piece of hardware no longer than your iPod that’s two hundred times more accurate than any product currently on the market. We believe that with The Leap, tomorrow we will no longer be tethered to hardware. With The Leap, imaginations run wild, and possibilities will be endless.”

However, the company didn’t elaborate much on how the contraption works; other than it uses breakthrough technology and motion control software that they have been working for the past four years.

Price and Availability

As of the moment, Leap Motion is sending out development kits and SDKs for Windows 7 and 8 and Mac OS X, while Linux is part of their future release. The company hopes that The Leap will be ideal for surgical and engineering software, other than gaming. Initially costs $70, the 3D motion-sensing device is now available on a limited pre-order. Readers can also check out their video to learn more about the device.


Despite being a new company, Leap Motion was able to introduce a technology that combines the prowess of Kinect and iPhone. Furthermore, it brings sub-millimeter accuracy at a user’s fingertips, offers familiar gesture control, and provides applications that makes Kinect and similar devices look like yesterday’s news.

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