It's a great time to be Leap Motion, as the company has not only recently concluded a new, major round of funding, but they've also just recently struck a deal to get their Leap device and app store available on a line of Asus PCs. This will go a long way toward securing the future of motion controls in computers, and bring us all a little closer to the day where the only thing we touch when using our computers is the keyboard.
Leap Motion's gesture control is some pretty powerful hardware; it has the ability to accurately gauge movements to a hundredth of a millimeter, which makes it ideal for screen real estate that measures in inches. Under their new deal with Asus, Leap Motion will provide its Leap device for gesture controls for Asus' line of high-end laptops and their equally high-end all-in-one PC systems. But that's not the end of Leap Motion's success story, according to current CEO of Leap Motion Michael Buckwald, as Leap Motion is already working to land similar deals with other manufacturers as well as some smartphone makers.
No deals with other companies have yet been announced, but they've been pursued, so it may just be a matter of time until Leap Motion can announce some more deals in the making. Leap Motion is planning a formal unveiling of the Leap and its accompanying app store early this year, and is already set to build Leap devices in large quantities, a figure described by Buckwald as "between hundreds of thousands and millions of Leaps".
The deal between Leap Motion and Asus is likely not coming as too great a surprise to those who think that gesture control systems are likely to be the future of human / computer interactions. Indeed, there are already several such applications on the market designed to combine cameras and computer vision algorithms to form an environment where pointing at something is the same as dragging a cursor to it via mouse control. Flutter is just one such application that's already been seen controlling things like Windows Media Player and iTunes, allowing users to manipulate video and audio in the usual ways: pausing tracks, advancing scenes and the like. A Chrome-based extension of Flutter is bringing those same controls to things like Netflix and YouTube (News - Alert). What's more, the rise of the Kinect for Microsoft's Xbox 360 line of game consoles has also shown the kind of value that can be had when it comes to motion controls.
Suggesting that motion controls will soon be the new standard in controlling PCs and the like may be a bit premature, but there's no denying that this concept is gaining a lot of ground overall. Thanks to Flutter, we've already seen the idea work on several different popular applications, and with the Leap device, we'll likely see the idea work on several more. The passage of time will serve as the best measure to see just how far this particular concept can go, but based on the current picture, it's likely to go farther than many would expect.
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Edited by Brooke Neuman