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Former iAd chief's Leap Motion gesture-based controller to debut this quarter

post #1 of 14
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Leap Motion on Thursday announced it not only raised $30 million in Series B funding, but also entered into a partnership with Asus, giving the manufacturer a major distribution channel once the company's motion sensing controller is ready for market.

Leap Motion
Source: Leap Motion


For Leap, which last summer tapped former Apple iAd chief Andy Miller to become its president and COO, the Asus partnership is just one of a number of deals being worked on for launch, reports TechCrunch. Asus is supposedly planning to bundle the motion controller with select all-in-one PCs and high-end laptops.

According to Leap Motion co-founder and CEO Michael Buckwald, an integral part of the company's early distribution strategy involves bundling the controller with existing products or integrating it in new devices.

Backers of the startup appear to be in favor of the plan, as a second round of funding led by venture capital firm Founders Fund recently brought in $30 million. This is on top of $12.75 million of funding Leap garnered with a Series A round led by Highland Capital, the firm at which Miller became a general partner after leaving Apple in 2011. The former iAd head was said to have spent upwards of 80 percent of his time at Leap when he decided to work at the company full time.

Miller said that some developers are adding the Leap Motion gesture technology into existing software while others are building apps from scratch tailored to the 3D motion tech.

?As [the Leap Motion] app store matures, we?ll start to see the ratio shift towards apps that are built from the ground up, that are created and designed with this in mind,? Miller said.

Some 12,000 dev units have already been shipped out to the more than 40,000 developers who signed on to help create Leap Motion applications.

As for the device itself, Leap says it will enable users to create 8 cubic feet of "3D interaction space" in front of Macs or PCs when it ships later this quarter.

A video on the company's YouTube page shows a user interacting with on-screen content using just hand and finger movements. The applications shown in the demo range from web pages, to 3D modeling applications, to video games, all controlled via hand gestures. The video has more than seven million views.



The Leap Motion controller has been in development for over four years and is expected to ship some time in the first quarter. Pre-orders are being taken at the company's website for an introductory price of $69.99.
post #2 of 14
That's one way of developing a gorilla arm. Still, gotta order one - just to try it out.
post #3 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by PhilBoogie View Post

That's one way of developing a gorilla arm. Still, gotta order one - just to try it out.

Seriously! I can see practical applications of gestures but this is not one of them.

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post #4 of 14
Finally air motion gestures will be on a Mac, that is something we expect a whole lot more now.
post #5 of 14

While this is "cool", I have no idea what I'd use the damn thing for. Not to mention the gorilla arm problem.

post #6 of 14

Betting a Microsoft or Apple competitor snaps these guys up straightaway followed by a number of overzealous Apple supporters immediately denouncing them for their "outdated" tech. 1tongue.gif

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Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

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post #7 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by bighype View Post

While this is "cool", I have no idea what I'd use the damn thing for. Not to mention the gorilla arm problem.

 

Could be a good substitute for lifting weights... or not.

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post #8 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

 

Could be a good substitute for lifting weights... or not.

Nahh.. about the only thing this would give you is RSI.

post #9 of 14

Gosh, this is like having a Windows 8 Surface without having to lean all the way forward and touching/smearing the screen. The best thing is that one doesn't need to go buy a touch sensitive screen; you can just use EXISTING hardware and EXISTING software OS. So much for Windows 8 sales and an automatic obsolescence of existing PCs.

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post #10 of 14

I'm still not convinced of motion sensing. It's great for special effects in movies and demos, but practical use?  I'm not seeing it.  I guess i would have to have someone get their hands on it and spend 6 months to see what they thought, and then MAYBE.  

 

I like my keyboard, mouse and trackpad for the desktop.  Thank you very much.

post #11 of 14
Looks like a brilliant idea, and I'm keen to try one out.

Something has to be better than a mouse and keyboard, and touch screens don't really replace them. I've used an iPad long enough to be pretty sure of that, and agree with the Apple assessment that reaching forward to put finger prints on your computer screen as in Windows 8 is ergonomically flawed %u2013 and the evidence is that the Surface is not selling in big numbers.

One obvious caveat even before I try one: as with voice commands: how do you stop it from noticing when it shouldn't? Scratch your nose and delete a file %u2026

Another idea out there is brain-computer interfaces. Possibly a combination will be the way to go: something like Leap to pick up movement, and an EEG sensor to verify that you meant it.

Philip Machanick creator of Opinionations and Green Grahamstown
Department of Computer Science, Rhodes University, South Africa

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Philip Machanick creator of Opinionations and Green Grahamstown
Department of Computer Science, Rhodes University, South Africa

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post #12 of 14
The video demo here looks very good, its almost like an Apple product promotional video in style. But I don't know if many people will want to give their hands and arms such a workout when they're sitting in front of a video screen - for prolonged periods of time anyhow. When they can rest their hand comfortably on a mouse and carry out the same tasks. This tech could be good integrated into tablets and smartphones mind...less greasy-smudgy screens.
post #13 of 14
Looks great, can't wait to have it.
post #14 of 14

Preordered. I'll give it a go.

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