Leap Motion has finally, finally, finally launched.
After months of developer releases, preorders, video teases, and OEM deals for bundling with computer vendors such as ASUS — and embedding with others such as HP — Leap Motion’s innovative 3-D motion control technology is finally available for purchase by the general public.
Hundreds of thousands of people preordered the $80 controller, the company said.
“Today marks a tremendous milestone for the company, but we’re just getting started,” Leap Motion cofounder and CEO Michael Buckwald said in a statement. “Leap Motion enhances the computing experience to allow people to do things in new and better ways, and we’re committed to breaking down the barriers between people and technology to make the future more easily accessible.”
The device, which is 200 times more sensitive to motion than Microsoft’s current Xbox 360 Kinect and senses even 1/100 of a millimeter’s motion of individual fingers on both hands at 290 frames/second, is available for purchase online and will also be available across the United States in Best Buy stores.
It’s about the size of a pack of gum. Attach it to your Mac or PC, and the device senses your hand motions and allows you to control your computer, zooming in on pictures, rotating on-screen 3-D objects, drawing, writing, creating 3-D computer-aided designs, and much more.
Leap also has its own app store, Airspace. The company said Airspace now has over 75 application that are optimized for mid-air gesture control.
Now that Leap has finally launched, the company can continue to work on innovative applications that are not for the slowly dying traditional PC industry. Leap Motion has big plans for mobile devices as well.
“Any place where you can fit tiny pinhead cameras, you can fit Leap,” COO Andy Miller told me earlier this year. “We’re looking to embed our tech into watches and smartphones and glasses and everything.”
The Leap Motion Controller works with computers running Mac OS X 10.7 or 10.8, or Windows 7 or 8. It requires a minimum Intel Core i3 or AMD Phenom II processor, 2 GB RAM, and a USB 2.0 port.