Start-up Leap Motion has announced a new motion recognition device that is many times more accurate than anything that is currently available on the market. The system is more precise than a touchscreen or mouse and even supports multi-touch.
Leap, as the system is called, consists of a sensor module that is about the size of a pack of cigarettes; this module can be connected to your desktop or notebook via USB. With the use of the in-house developed software it is capable of tracking your hands and fingers in 3d, but it can also track the location and orientation of objects in your hand, like a pencil, which can followed and visualized by the system. Leap Motion didn’t announce what kind of motion technology there are using for the Leap.
The Leap is accurate to a hundredth of a millimeter. Because of the great accuracy and multi-touch support, Leap is suitable for a large number of applications. David Holz, chief technical officer at Leap Motion presented the technology to CNet with navigation applications, browsing web pages, zooming in and out on a map with two fingers, drawing accuracy in 2d and 3d. The system is also capable of manipulating a 3d model for prototyping or for medical applications, and was reportedly fast enough for 3d shooters and other games.
Unlike Kinect, that started off as a close system, but became quite popular among hackers, Leap Motion has a free software development kit available for qualified developers that want to make use of the hardware.
Although the Leap is not yet available and there is no set launch date, the device can already be pre-ordered. The Leap is priced at $70 and Leap Motion hopes to see their technology used in future laptops.