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: A.I.-powered cat toys, wallets, food containers

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!
Home Theater

Become a master caster with these Google Chromecast tips and tricks

Google's Chromecast and Chromecast Ultra are the ultimate budget-friendly streaming devices for cord cutters. We've put together a list of our favorite tips and tricks to help you get the most out of your Chromecast.
Smart Home

Keep an eye on your kingdom with the best home security cameras

When it comes to the best home security cameras, the choice often comes down to the one that simply knows how to stay out of your way. Here are some of our favorites, both indoor and outdoor.
Product Review

Audi's new A8 is so sophisticated and serene, it practically deletes potholes

The 2019 Audi A8’s outline looks promising: Level 3 autonomous driving capability, haptic-feedback infotainment screens, rear-wheel steering, Matrix LED headlights and OLED taillights, plus a predictive suspension.
Gaming

The 'Fallout 76' beta starts tomorrow! Here's when it starts and how to join

Want to get into Bethesda's Fallout 76 beta? We don't know when the program will launch, but we provide instructions on how to get ready. The game officially launches on November 14.
Computing

Samsung’s HMD Odyssey Plus gives you a clearer view into the virtual world

Samsung's refreshed HMD Odyssey+ promises to make Windows Mixed Reality experiences better by eliminating pixelated views caused by screen doors. The $500 headset also focuses on comfort this year with ergonomic improvements.
Computing

Intel denies rumors that 10nm Cannon Lake CPUs have been canned

Intel's long-in-development and oft-delayed, Cannon Lake 10nm CPU design has reportedly been canceled. Intel is denying the rumor, but if true, it could push back the release of new Intel chips by a long time.
Computing

Not to be outdone, Samsung says it’s making a laptop with a foldable display

Samsung announced that it is also working on a dual-screen computer. But rather than using two separate display panels, Samsung said that its novel laptop will come with a large flexible display that can fold when closed.
Photography

Free your digital memories, and frame them, with the best photo printers

Printed photos are experiencing a revival at the moment, but you don’t need to go to a special lab. Here’s our favorite options for making quality prints, from pocket-sized printers to wide-format photo printers capable of spitting out…
Computing

A new bug in the Windows 10 October 2018 Update could delete your files

The Windows 10 October 2018 Update has been on a rough path and in the latest set of issues, a new bug is impacting native zip file operations, potentially leading to overwritten files in some instances. 
Computing

Antivirus software has evolved a lot recently, and we need it more than ever

Everyone says you need it, but really is antivirus software, and how does it work? It depends on who you ask as different digital security companies employ different techniques to combat the latest malware threats.
Computing

Nvidia’s new GTX 1060 6GB could counter AMD’s rumored RX 590

Nvidia's GTX 1060 is about to get more powerful for new buyers, as the green team has introduced a new version with GDDR5X memory at its disposal. This could prove competitive with AMD's rumored RX 590.
Computing

A canceled education order is increasing hopes for new Macbook model

With Apple's October 30 event fast approaching, rumors continue to surface about new Macs and iPad models. In the latest news, a canceled education order is stoking hopes for a new MacBook model.
Computing

Facebook’s reported Rift 2 cancellation caused a rift with Oculus executive

Facebook may be prioritizing virtual reality on mobile experiences, which may have led to the company canceling development of the Oculus Rift 2. That may have been the cause of Oculus co-founder Brendan Iribe quitting.