Leap Motion Lets You Control Your Computer With Motion

If you’re reading this, chances are you’re using the plan old keyboard and mouse on your computer, or you might be using a mobile device with a touchcreen. One new device, the Leap, lets you control your computer without touching it.

Leap Motion has created the Leap, a $70 device the size of a thumb drive that plugs into a USB port. The software installs itself and then after you calibrate it by swiping your hand, you’re ready to control your computer by using hand gestures. It supports Windows and Mac, with Linux support coming soon.

Leap MotionLeap Motion

The device was created by childhood friends Michael Buckwald and David Hotz. The idea came out of using existing tools for 3D modeling. “Something that took 10 seconds in real life would take 30 minutes with a computer.  Molding virtual clay with a computer should be as easy as molding clay in the real world. The mouse and keyboard were simply getting in the way,” their website says.

“Leap represents an entirely new way to interact with your computers,” Leap Motion’s website reads. “It’s more accurate than a mouse, as reliable as a keyboard and more sensitive than a touchscreen.  For the first time, you can control a computer in three dimensions with your natural hand and finger movements.”

A short video shows how it works, using a variety of games and drawing programs:

You can even hold a pencil and sign your name precisely, something that’s impossible to do with either a mouse or a touchscreen. Its creators claim it’s  over 100 times more sensitive than other pointing devices. You can pre-order the Leap, but the device isn’t going to come out until late 2012 or early 2013.

This seems like a fun idea, but whether it’s as revolutionary as its creators claim still has yet to be proven. On the other hand, the Nintendo Wii has been very successful despite its unorthodox controls. Perhaps people would be willing to do away with controllers altogether. There are still some tasks where it probably wouldn’t work so well, like blogging.

This post comes to use courtesy of The Daily Mail.

If you’re into retro controllers, check out a Commodore 64 keytar, played by a woman on roller skates. You might also be interested in the leaked Wii U tablet design.