Say hello to the Leap, a tiny wireless box you put in front of your computer that reads your hand motions and translates them into actions on the monitor.
Designed by co-founders David Holz and Michael Buckwald (childhood friends from Florida), the Leap is about the size of a pack of gum and reads your hand gestures with 1/100 millimeter accuracy. The company claims this is 200 times more sensitive than anything else on the market today.
The Leap is essentially a Kinect (the Xbox motion sensor device) that you can carry in your pocket. The innovative new device is powered by IR along with some groundbreaking algorithms. The little box emits an invisible field of 8 cubic feet that allows it to read all ten of your fingers individually and translate all your gestures into actions onscreen.
According to the company's website, the initial inspiration for the Leap came out of their frustration with current 3-D modeling programs.
"Something that took 10 seconds in real life would take 30 minutes with a computer," the developers write. "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."
The whole thing almost sounds too good to be true, particularly the price tag of just $69.99 (the Leap is already available for pre-order and set for release early next year), but this is no hoax. The product is already being shown off in live demos for the press and large distributors.
The developers are also already thinking ahead, and imagining a world where there motion sensing software is ubiquitous on all computers. They've already given away over 10,000 development kits to programmers who are busy creating an entire ecosystem of programs for the Leap. The possibilities seem endless.
"I can't help but wonder," writes Mark Wilson for Fast Company, "what could happen if we aimed Leap at our faces rather than our hands? The developers of the Leap recognize that their product may take some time to adjust to, but they are confident that their motion sensor technology is the way of the future, and expect to integrate Leap technology into tablets, smart-phones, laptops and game consoles.
"It may seem unorthodox," they write, "but remember: all the big innovations have been viewed that way, too. Wireless. The horseless carriage."