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Leap Motion 3D gesture controls coming to Asus Notebooks. Smartphones and tablets next?

Asus notebooks will soon support built-in 3D gesture recognition through Leap Motion. Will smartphones and tablets benefit next from this technology?
January 4, 2013

Here at Android Authority, we have featured a variety of user interfaces, which include gesture controls, touch, voice control and motion-sensing technologies. One thing that got me excited in 2012 was a development by Leap Motion, which built a 3D-sensing device called The Leap, which was small enough to fit into portable devices like notebook computers.

Leap Motion has been distributing The Leap to interested developers to drum up interest, and intends to market the device for $70 apiece, which is meant to be included in portable devices. I seems Leap Motion’s goals are reaching fruition, with news that Asus will be incorporating Leap’s motion-sensing tech into its laptop computers soon.

Reports say that Asus will be including the device in its high-end notebook computers and premium all-in-one PCs. But what’s even more interesting here is the technology’s potential for use on even smaller devices, like tablets and smartphones. Leap Motion CEO Michael Buckwald says this is quite possible.

“The cameras are actually very small,” Buckwald said in an interview with CNet. “The actual sensors and software [can] fit in even the smallest form factors.”

The Leap can detect movement up to a hundredths of a millimeter, or half the diameter of a hair strand. The technology can also differentiate from among body parts and other objects it can detect through a three-dimensional space. Here are latest updates on Leap Motion’s promising device.

  • Leap Motion is already working with device manufacturers to possibly include the technology in their portable devices. none have been announced at this point.
  • Given that pure hardware will not mean anything without software to work with it, Leap Motion has an app store in the works, which it expects to launch within the year.
  • Leap Motion is making “between hundreds of thousands and millions of Leaps,” having ramped up its production process.
  • The company has announced a series B financing of $30 million to finance its increased production. Leap has raised $45 million in all. The series B financing is led by Founders Fund and High Capital Partners.
  • Among Leap’s target industries include the medical field, gaming, architecture, design and engineering. However, some other fields of interest are emerging, including sign language translation. The possibilities should keep app developers busy. Developers are even hinting at interest in building apps that will drive cars and pilot aircraft through gestures. The technology can also come in useful for physical therapy and rehabilitation.

According to Leap’s data, here is a breakdown of how developers intend to use the technology:

  • 14% of developers who availed themselves of the Alpha release are into gaming-related apps.
  • 12% plan to use the technology for multimedia like music and video.
  • 11% are into design.
  • 8% will use it for science and medicine.
  • 6% are into robotics.
  • 40,000 applications have been proposed.

Leap Motion looks promising, in that it could be just the thing we’re looking for in a (relatively) cheap and effective gesture control tech for our portable devices. Gesture control would be a great addition to augmented reality tech like Google Glass, which, incidentally is currently having an identity crisis.