HIGLY anticipated, touch free computer experience.
Leap motion has released their most anticipated product yet. revolucionanzing the compute-user interaction with an ew device that uncludes cameras and sensors to let you use your computer, making the use of anyother hands on hardaweare, pretty much useless. Leap Motion is launching its highly anticipated motion control technology today, aiming to become the next generation of human computer interaction.
The Leap Motion Controller is a small USB device plugs into a computer that enables people to interact with the computer using hand and finger movements. The controller has two camera sensors and three infrared LEDs which “read” hand gestures.
The San Francisco company hopes this technology changes the way people interact with computers. “There’s a reason now to use your computer,” says Andy Miller, president and COO of Leap Motion. ”We let people do things they couldn’t do well before. It’s opening up a new world to interact with computers and a new space, literally. We break down the space between yourself and your computer.”
The Leap Motion app store, Airspace, is launching with close to 80 apps. About 30% are free and they range from 99 cents to $99 per app for a powerful CAD-oriented app. Like Apple AAPL +0.49%‘s App Store, the revenue split is 70/30 to the developer. The apps are all downloadable to the computer. Leap Motions allows companies to use the technology for browser-based applications but those are not available in the Airspace store. More than 12,000 people have accessed Leap Motion’s developer’s kit.
The apps are in a wide range of areas such as education, games, music and content. Some are well-known such as Google GOOG +1.45% Earth or the New York Times. One app, Swoosh, pulls music from your iTunes and lets you control it on a record. With Frog Dissection, you open up a frog as you would in high school biology class and examine each organ. You can “grab” the organ and spin it around. Others include Double Fine’s music game Dropchord and ZeptoLab’s Cut the Rope.
I tested out a demo model of Leap Motion on my MacBook Air. I had a little trouble controlling some of the apps. Some of that may be because it takes time to adjust to the interface, which is fairly intricate in the types of moves you can execute. But overall, the technology is impressive and works without any special instructions needed. I plugged it in and started using it. The controller is responsive to each tiny movement of your hands and fingers. It really is a new way to interact with your computer. In the short term it seems like games and educational apps would be the logical first movers.
In terms of distribution, Leap Motion will be in Best Buys nationwide on July 28. Leap Motion has already announced distribution deals to bundle Leap Motion with PC manufacturers HP and Asus. Leap Motion is also working to embed Leap Motion in HP devices–that is, so that no external device would be needed.
Besides the apps that are launching there has been strong interest in enterprise applications for Leap Motion, Miller says. But the company is focusing on its consumer facing applications for now. “There’s been an amazing amount of inbound interest,” Miller says. “It’s been really interesting to see the security and biometric interest. Automotive, defense, security and medical have been the most aggressive.”
The San Francisco company has raised $45 million in venture funding from Founders Fund, Highland Capital Partners, Andreessen Horowitz and SOSventures International. It also has a $25 million fund that was set up by Highland Capital Partners to fund startups on its platform.
The Leap Motion Controller starts shipping today to customers who pre-ordered. It’s also available for pre-order on Leap Motion’s website for $79.99. It’s also available for per-order at Bestbuy.com
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