Leap device to have Autodesk plug-in out of the gate
First units will ship May 13, for sale at retail May 19 for $80
by Sam Pfeifle
February 27, 2013
SAN FRANCISCO – Leap Motion, the company behind the Leap
Motion Controller, said it will beginning shipping its device to pre-order
customers on May 13 and that the device will be available exclusively at Best
Buy stores starting May 19, for $80. The Leap Controller is pitched as being
capable of tracking movement to 10 microns at 290 frames per second in 3D
space. Back in January, the
company announced it had gathered $30 million in funding to fuel its
Perhaps most interesting for the professional space is that
the Controller will ship with access to an online app store called Airspace, where Leap says there will
be a plug-in available out of the gate for use with Autodesk 3D design tools.
The Leap Motion Controller will support operating system
interactions with Windows 7 and 8, and Mac OS X 10.7 and 10.8.
Leap Motion has refused an interview with SPAR, citing time
constraints, even after being offered as much time as they need to answer
questions via email, but you can see in this video done with C|NET the sort of
active point cloud the device is capable of creating:
It’s unclear whether the Autodesk plug-in will actually
allow for some import of point cloud data or whether it will simply allow
gesture control of 3D designs. Even if the latter, it’s clear there could be a
benefit for those working with 3D data who have shown interest in the past in
things like the 3D mouse and haptic interfaces.
The company already also has an active developer community,
which has been working with the Controller for the past year so that Airspace
is populated with the consumer launch of the device.
Early apps will include a variety of games and things like a
Weather Channel app.
You can see an example of a gesture-controlled digital
musical instrument here:
Those looking for a first peek into the Leap experience can
try some of the apps out at the music and technology conference SXSW, to be
held in Austin, Texas, March 9 through 11. The company will be set up in the
Old Iron Works BBQ parking lot from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Leap Motion
co-founders Michael Buckwald, CEO, and David Holz, CTO, will present a featured
session called "Leap Motion
& the Disappearing Interface" on March 9 at the Austin Convention
Center, Exhibit Hall 5.