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November 20th, 2013

Leap Motion Technology: The Future is Hands Free

The creation of new technologies begins with one question, what if? No longer just existing in the Sci-Fi films we love, Leap Motion technology has created an entirely different platform for the way we interact and create with our computers, giving users the ability to control their electronics with a mere hand gesture.

The original USB device, released this past July utilizes two CCD cameras and three infrared LED’s taking the recorded movement through the camera and turning it into 3D input.

As one of the newest motion control technologies, Leap Motion promises to be significantly more accurate than other technologies of its kind on the market. Sensing natural hand and finger gestures at over 200 frames per second the devices interaction area ranges 8 cubic feet, 2 feet each way, 150 degrees around. Less than 3 inches big, the USB device can be used with Windows 7 & 8 in addition to Mac operating systems 10.7 and 10.8.

Leap Motion CEO and co-founder Michael Buckwald and David Holz are no strangers to the technology world. Previously a researcher in fluid mechanics for NASA, It was Holz who created the original technology while he was enrolled in the mathematics PhD program at UNC Chapel Hill. Buckwald formerly the CEO of Zazuba.com partnered with his childhood friend on Leap Motion.

According to the company, “The Leap Motion Controller tracks all 10 fingers up to 1/100th of a millimeter. It’s dramatically more sensitive than existing motion control technology… versatile enough to be embedded in any number of electronics, and we envision a future where it’s included in everything from cars to fighter jets. Some of the applications we expect to see include navigating complex data visualization and allowing surgeons to review medical imaging mid-procedure without contaminating their hands.”

The Airspace Store, available in 30 different countries is open to multiple currencies including the Euro, British pound, Japanese yen and the Chinese Yuan. The Airspace Store offers hundreds of Leap Motion applications that can enhance your productivity in a variety of fields.

A project that began while frustrated with 3D printing, Leap Motion technology offers designers a whole new way to utilize and create with programs like AutoCAD. Expected applications for Leap Motion will also include apps like Corel’s Painter and Google Earth 7.1. Lifestyle apps like PhotoScape give the user the ability to flip through virtual feeds from Instagram and Tumblr. The Better Touch Tool configures movement to control your Mac and the New York Times app changes the way we “flip” through the Sunday paper forever. Other popular apps that utilize Leap Motion to its fullest potential include programs like Beautiful Chaos where the user can manipulate color clouds with their hands, make music with GecoMIDI Music Maker or even practice for your future in the medical field with the Leap Motion Frog Dissection app.

“We’re providing developers and users a powerful platform for creating, playing, exploring and learning, and it’s thrilling to see people around the world take their first leap with our technology,” said Buckwald. “We’re already seeing musicians, doctors, teachers, artists, students and gamers find creative and practical uses for their Leap Motion Controllers, andwe’re just getting started.”

What began as a USB that sits on your desktop, will now take the next step as HP released the HP ENVY17 Leap Motion Special Edition. As the world’s first computer equipped with Leap Motion Technology the new HP has a 17.3” diagonal full HD touch screen display with NVIDIA graphics, priced at $1049.99 pre orders for the HP started October 16.

Obviously just the beginning for Leap Motion, in the first 3 weeks of the product launch over 1 million apps were downloaded from the store. The Leap Motion Airspace Store has also created thousands of new jobs for developers and designers in this arena, already having over 40,000 developers working on Leap Motion.

 

Article Written By: Emma Watson


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Design Engine Industrial Design Training Pro Engineer
 
 

 

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