Leap Motion opens app store to developers in advance of July 22 launch

LeapMotion_dtCheck out our full review of the Leap Motion gesture controller.

We’ve been looking forward to the Leap Motion’s Leap controller even since before we saw the finished product at CES. This $79 device adds 3D gesture control capabilities to your Mac or Windows 8 PC, making everything from drawing to exploring Google Earth a more immersive, interactive experience.

Though we were dismayed when the company bumped the device’s launch back to July 22, that date is fast approaching. Today, the Leap Motion device is entering its next phase of beta testing by giving developers early access to its Airspace Home launcher and its Airspace app store. 

leap-motion-airspaceThough Leap Motion already has deals with Asus, HP, and Best Buy to help get its devices into consumers’ hands, the Leap Motion controller will be much more attractive when there are a slew of creative apps available for it. The company definitely knows this, too.

The first 12,000 beta testers to control their computers with their hands were all developers. This group will also be the first to test out Airspace Home and the apps in the Airspace Store. Airspace Home is a launcher that resides on a user’s computer and houses apps from the store, as well as software that uses the Leap Motion API but isn’t strictly a 3D motion controlled app, such as Google Earth.

TechCrunch is also reporting that developers who didn’t initially get into the early access program will now be able to access the developer portal to familiarize themselves with the Leap Motion developer tools. The hope is that this will spur even more developers to start building apps in advance of the device’s launch. Leap Motion CEO Michael Buckwald said there are about 50 apps currently available in the Airspace Store and that he plans to have at least a hundred when the controller launches.

The Leap Motion controller will officially launch on July 22 for $79 and will be available in Best Buy stores approximately one week later.

Image via Leap Motion