By Tim Murphy
on 8.17.12
Photo by Leap

Steve Jobs said touch screens would work “like magic” and revolutionize how we control computing devices. He was right, but a small start-up in San Francisco is taking that idea to the next level dimension. Leap Motion 3D Sensor ($70) is an iPod-sized USB device that creates an eight cubic foot 3D motion field to control and interact with your computer.

We’ve seen the progression of motion sensors move from the remote-requiring Nintendo Wii to hands-free smart TVs. But we haven’t seen them at this level of precision for standard computer operating systems. Leap Motion claims to be “200x more sensitive than existing touch-free products and technologies.” They say it’s the software and their patented mathematical approach, rather than specialty sensors, which makes Leap Motion so much better than current 3D motion sensing technology.

Learn more and check out the video of the Leap in action after the break.

The implications for this kind of technology are quite profound, especially in the medical field where surgeons will be able to manipulate data without contaminating their hands or removing their gloves. Additionally, engineers of all stripes will be able to build and iterate more quickly and with greater sophistication.

Leap Motion is also releasing development kits to harness the collective creativity of coders everywhere. Remember the explosion of apps that followed Apple opening up the App Store to outside developers? Once developers start building and tweaking programs with Leap in mind, things should get very interesting. And if you’re not jumping for joy yet, the Leap’s price tag should help. It’s available for pre-order now, at an extremely accessible price.

Buy Now: $70 (Available February 2013)

FILED UNDER ,