“Leap” Motion Controller Could Revolutionise Gaming

Astounding precision.

Apologies for the slightly over expressive headline. I think you’ll forgive me when you watch this video from the makers of Leap, a new motion controller for your computers. I’m not entirely convinced this isn’t some odd hoax strung together with clever CGI and witchcraft.

As you can see, the discreet USB box offers amazing precision. It can differentiate between fingers and thumbs, knows a pencil from a pinky and throws up an 8 cubic feet area of motion sensing that’s claimed to be two hundred times more precise than existing motion sensors.

There are a limited number available to pre-order for just $69.99, which is bafflingly cheap compared with existing peripherals. The developers are touting multiple uses, from medical practice to OS navigation but we’re particularly interested in the possibilities for gaming.

The video shows Angry Birds and Fruit Ninja, of course, but it also shows aeroplane control and precise sensing of every child’s natural “gun hand” to replicate shooting a revolver while playing the HDR demo level from Half Life 2. Imagine controlling an RTS with your fingertips, casting spells with hand gestures or slicing up bad guys with a flick of your finger.

They’re distributing free units to plenty of developers so there’s every chance that there’ll be some exciting real world application for this tech very soon. I’m sorely tempted to pre-order one myself.

Source: Leap

43 Comments

  1. Somewhere there’s a Kinect camera and a Move controller thinking “aw, crap.”

    • Do you think they’ll form an alliance to stop the stronger enemy?

    • Somewhere there’s a Kinect and Move controller thinking “Hahaha I bet they wont sell 18 million units”

      • Somewhere there’s a gamer thinking there might actully be game’s for this device.

      • Quite. And showing Fruit Ninja et al was a smart move.

      • Somewhere there’s a gamer (me) thinking “i couldn’t give two hoots about motion controlled gaming”. The absolute flop that was Move has totally put me off.

      • Somewhere there’s a gamer (not me) that agree’s with you.

  2. Uh-huh. Looks very convincing, although things like these ‘amazing prototype’ builds have been faked before, some of which I would’ve actually bought! I’d like to see this in an off-center/handheld camera demonstration, or at LEAST some sort of preview on gadget sites.

    • I would be especially concerned with giving my credit card info to this company too, considering they just popped up out of the blue.

  3. Still looks like a gimmick as with every other motion controller. Like when they were demoing Kinect for firing weapons in Ghost Recon, looks cool, but still just a bit gimmicky.

  4. If that works as well as the video suggests someone is buying them very, very quickly. Might not be MS or Sony, but a big company is going to want to own that tech.

    • Microsoft, if Apple doesn’t get in there first.

      • Imagine it being built into laptops and such.

  5. Looks too good to be true.

  6. if that’s real, it looks accurate and responsive, but many games will still play better with a good old joypad.

    games where you have to move and perform an action at the same time for example.

    for more serious applications though it could be ideal.
    remote operation of machinery for example.
    so you wouldn’t need to send people into hazardous situations.

    • What if in the case of PC gaming you could still use one hand on the keyboard?

  7. I’m just glad this wasn’t another Kickstarter. Looks really good, if it works, I’ll need to see it properly to believe it though.

  8. Can see it being great when it comes to using a desktop PC, also see its appeal for some games but not really something I think would revolutionise games for me.

  9. Looks like the box is kept very close to the screen and you have to operate quite close to the box…. so it’s a contact-free touch screen?

    • box can be anywhere but I assume it has to be parallel to the screen for ideal results, it’s what’s sensing the motion rather than anything to do with the screen. Throws up an 8 cubic feet field of sensing so that’s roughly similar to Kinect, I think? I’m terrible with volume measurements, I never quite understand what that means…

      • Cool, i think that means 8 feet in any direction so, the proximity in the video may have just been for demo purposes.

      • that’d be an 8 foot square.
        8 cubic feet sounds to me like the entire area it can detect is the equivalent of 8 one foot squares.
        which by my maths is less than a foot wide cube.

        if i’m right, that’s not actually a very big space.

        anybody who knows about maths and geometry could probably tell us if i’m right.

        and looking at the video again i see the device seems to be placed in front of the monitor and the guy’s hands are above it.

        so i’m beginning to think i’m right.

      • suddenly, i think i’ve got something very wrong.

      • You would think 8 cubic feet would be 8 feet in any direction, but it’s actually 8 lots of 1 cubic foot. To work out how much physical area would be detectable, you take the cube root of 8 which (rather handily) is 2 feet, so it’s a 2x2x2 foot cube.

        I guess it doesn’t sound big, but if you’re sat down all the time using it, 2 feet seems like it would be enough.

      • no it means 2 feet by 2 feet by two feet, so not anywhere near as big as kinect, but easily enough for a computer screen, or decent sized widescreen

      • no wait, i think i see where i went wrong, it won’t be one foot wide, it’l be a three foot square.
        well just under.
        3x3x3 is 9, so 8 cubic feet would be a just undere three foot square.

        have i mentioned maths isn’t exactly my strong point? ^_^

      • especially since it wouldn’t be a cubic area and looks more like it would be a more rectangular shape?

      • see i told you.
        about my maths skills.

        i meant 3 for each layer, not multiplied by three each time, because that would be dumb right? >_>

        i’m going to leave this subject before i make myself look even stupider. ^_^

      • See, I thought that “8 cubic feet” and ‘8 feet cubed” were different but I’ve always been terrible at 3 dimensions and pretty bad at maths in general.

      • You know what, i bet it isn’t cubes at all – it’s probably a sphere.. :/

  10. Hello Minority Report.

    • Hello David Cage’s next game.

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