While a tactical experience on our portable devices has all but been eliminated thanks to touchscreens and virtual keyboards, the experience is anything but on our computers. That is until now thanks to a small company called Leap.
They say their product, and we quote, is “200 times more accurate than anything else on the market — at any price point”. Needless to say, that’s a bold statement, but after watching their product video we can only agree. That being said they haven’t begin shipping their product just yet – expect it this winter – so until then we’ll have to reserve our judgement.
So what is the Leap? Effectively it’s a Kinect for your computer, though, as emphasized above, it’s said to be far more accurate. It’s footprint is no larger than an iPod and connects to your computer via USB. Once calibrated, which apparently takes less than a few minutes, the Leap can distinguish between your individual fingers, your thumb and track movements down to a 1/100th of a millimeter. And although the Leap is limited to 8 cubic feet of interactive space, it’s smart enough, and accurate enough to allow you to sign documents since it can detect pens and pencils. Other uses, as detailed in their product video, include playing games, utilizing 3D modeling software and much more. So far they’ve managed to link the Leap to dozens of applications and while it’s compatible with Mac OS X, it does support native touch emulation for Windows 8 – Linux support maybe coming in the future.
The Leap will retail for just $69.99. You can preorder now, though they say they won’t charge your credit card until it ships. Developers can also order a dev kit, with batches ship in 1 to 3 months.