Leap motion gesture add-in for PCs starts shipping May 13

First announced close to a year ago, the Leap motion gesture/capture add-on from start up company Leap Motion has generated a ton of press, thanks to its impressive demos of highly accurate gesture capture for use on Windows and Mac PCs. Today, Leap Motion announced that the Leap device would finally start shipping to the public on May 13th.

The press release also revealed that pre-orders for the add-on would now be priced at $79.99, a $10 price hike compared to the previous pre-order amount of $69.99; Leap will start being sold in Best Buy stores on May 19th and Best Buy is also taking pre-orders now for the Leap on its website. The device will support PCs running on Windows 7 and 8 and Mac OS X 10.7 and 10.8.

A number of software developers and companies have already announced their plans to offer apps that will support the Leap. They will include plug-ins for Autodesk, apps made by The Weather Channel and a version of the popular casual game Cut the Rope.

The public will get its first chance to try out the Leap device at an exhibit during the South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas on March 9-11. Leap Motion previously announced that Asus would bundle the Leap in some of its Windows 8 PCs.

Source: Leap Motion | Image via Leap Motion

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Awesome. The video on their site is great.

"At just about the size of a flash drive, it can track your individual finger movements to 1/100th of a millimeter."

Is most touch even accurate to that level?

For only $80, this is a no brainer for anyone with a brain, if it's as good as they claim.

I've been quite interested in this. Nice to hear it'll be available soon.
I take it that the device is wireless? Looks like it in the picture.
I've been wondering about that for awhile now. Wouldn't do me any good if it were corded.

I can see this being beneficial for only certain scenarios, such as giving a presentation. But I have yet to see this demonstrated with your hands on the table, making small gestures.Think just how uncomfortable it would be to sit and have your arms raised for hours.

It's not meant to replace the Keyboard/Mouse, it's just another level or immersion and interaction that I welcome with a loving embrace. It's not so much what it does now (even though it's very impressive), it's what it can and will do in the future that no one has thought of yet that impresses me.

Give it a chance.

Rohdekill said,
I can see this being beneficial for only certain scenarios, such as giving a presentation. But I have yet to see this demonstrated with your hands on the table, making small gestures.Think just how uncomfortable it would be to sit and have your arms raised for hours.

There is no use case where you would sit with your arms raised for hours. This is fake, unfounded FUD spread by a very vocal niche that gets angry at things like desktop touch screens and motion control.

These input technologies supplement other existing ones, just as a mouse supplements a keyboard. This fantasy of raising your arms "for hours" is like arguing against mouse usage by saying how uncomfortable it would be to click every single character with a mouse to type. There's always downtime when using an input device.

I'm a bit disappointed. They initially promised shipping in February. Now I won't be able to use it in my 3D classes.

Good. It better work for everything touch related in Windows 8. Once they announced their own app store, I thought, "Oh god here we go again."

Kinect and Leap are apples and oranges.

Yes, they both have gesture based controls, the similarities end there. Kinect integrates voice control and can be used from several feet away from the xbox, and can track multiple bodies. Leap is far more limited (hence the cost difference) but fills its niche just fine.

But man, reading their website, they obviously think they're a Kinect competitor:

This isn't a game system that roughly maps your hand movements. The Leap Motion controller is 200 times more accurate than anything else on the market