Leap brings affordable motion control to the PC

The LeapCheck out our full review of the Leap Motion gesture controller.

Today Leap Motion introduced its flagship product, a tiny, $70, motion sensor device that makes small screens hands-free devices. The target here is to give laptop and desktop monitors  Kinect-like response, making them more pliable, human-friendly machines. According to Leap Motion, it’s the Leap’s heightened accuracy that makes this all possible.

“The Leap creates a three-dimensional interaction space of 4 cubic feet to control a computer more precisely and quickly than a mouse or touchscreen, as reliably as a keyboard,” according to the company’s press release. “Leap Motion’s patented software, the heart of the Leap, represents four years of research and a series of major mathematical breakthroughs by co-founder and CTO David Holz.”

Leap Motion says the Leap is accurate to within 1/100 of a millimeter, making actions like pinch to zoom possible. It goes above and beyond the Kinect, which is obviously for larger motions and bigger screens altogether. The Leap makes things like signing documents or creating 3D models possible.

writing with the leapImplementing new methods of control into desktops and laptops has proven difficult. While devices like the PlayStation Move and Xbox Kinect – as well as the massive influx of touchscreens – have reshaped how we interact with our personal electronics, the computer has remained old school. Manufacturers are starting to introduce touchscreens into our PCs, but it’s been a relatively half-hearted effort. There is this barrier between work and play that the battle between tablets and computers has highlighted, and any intersection between these modes and devices hasn’t really gelled with consumers yet. The PhotoShop iPad app is a great example of this: it brings out all the fun of using PhotoShop but fails to include some of the necessary elements for work.

The Leap is part of a new wave of innovation hardware makers are trying to inject into what’s increasingly seen as old technology. Tobii eye tracking technology and its integration with Windows 8 is another great example of how we can bring the PC into the tablet age and give it an edge it didn’t have before – without just slapping a touchscreen on it.

But The Leap’s creators are already seeing beyond the PC. “In addition to the Leap for computers, our core software is versatile enough to be embedded in a wide range of devices, including smartphones, tablets, cars and refrigerators,” CEO and co-founder Michael Buckwald says. “One day 3D motion control will be in just about every device we interact with, and thanks to the Leap, that day is coming sooner than anyone expected.”

Later this week we’ll get some hands-on time with The Leap. Until then, this video demo will have to suffice. 

Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Write music with your voice, make homemade cheese

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Deals

From Chromebooks to MacBooks, here are the best laptop deals for March 2019

Whether you need a new laptop for school or work or you're just doing some post-holiday shopping, we've got you covered: These are the best laptop deals going right now, from discounted MacBooks to on-the-go gaming PCs.
Computing

Problems with installing or updating Windows 10? Here's how to fix them

Upgrading to the newest version of Windows 10 is usually a breeze, but sometimes you run into issues. Never fear though. Our guide will help you isolate the issue at hand and solve it in a timely manner.
Computing

HP spring sale: Save up to 58 percent on laptops, desktops, printers, and more

From now until March 23, the HP spring sale lets you take as much as 58 percent off of a huge range of laptops, desktop PCs, printers, and more, potentially saving you more than $1,000. We’ve rounded up a dozen of the best deals right…
Computing

Still miss Windows 7? Here's how to make Windows 10 look more like it

There's no simple way of switching on a Windows 7 mode in Windows 10. Instead, you can install third-party software, manually tweak settings, and edit the registry. We provide instructions for using these tweaks and tools.
Computing

Go hands-free in Windows 10 with speech-to-text support

Looking for the dictation, speech-to-text, and voice control options in Windows 10? Here's how to set up Speech Recognition in Windows 10 and use it to go hands-free in a variety of different tasks and applications within Windows.
Deals

Looking for a Chromebook? The Google PixelBook just got a $200 price cut

Once relatively obscure, Chromebooks have come into their own in a big way in recent years. One of our favorites is the super-sleek Google Pixelbook, and it's on sale right now from Amazon for $200 off, letting you score this premium laptop…
Computing

Get the most out of your high-resolution display by tweaking its DPI scaling

Windows 10 has gotten much better than earlier versions at supporting today's high-resolution displays. If you want to get the best out of your monitor, then check out our guide on how to adjust high-DPI scaling in Windows 10.
Mobile

Got gadgets galore? Keep them charged up with the 10 best USB-C cables

We're glad to see that USB-C is quickly becoming the norm. That's why we've rounded up some of the better USB-C cables on the market, whether you're looking to charge or sync your smartphone. We've got USB-C to USB-C and USB-C to USB-A.
Computing

Nvidia’s GTX 1650 graphics card could be just a slight upgrade over the 1050 Ti

Rumors suggest Nvidia might soon launch the GTX 1650, and a leaked benchmark listing from Final Fantasy XV suggests that the new graphics card could be just a slight upgrade over last generation's GTX 1050 Ti. 
Computing

Get ready to say goodbye to some IFTTT support in Gmail by March 31

If This Then That, the popular automation service, will drop some of its support for Gmail by March 31. The decision comes as a response to security concerns and is aimed to protect user data.
Computing

Get the new Dell XPS 13 for $750 with this limited-time deal

Dell is currently running a limited time deal lasting through Thursday, March 28, where you can bring home a version of this year's new XPS 13 for around $750 with the use of a special coupon code. 
Mobile

This is the easiest way to save your iPhone data to your computer

Living in fear of losing your contacts, photos, messages, and notes on your iPhone? Fear no more -- in this guide, we'll break down exactly how to back up your iPhone to your computer using Apple's iTunes or to the cloud with iCloud.
Mobile

Here are the best iPad Pro keyboard cases to pick up with your new tablet

The iPad Pro range can double as laptops, but they do need proper keyboards to fill in effectively. Thankfully, there are loads to choose from and we rounded up the best iPad Pro keyboard cases right here.