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Leap Motion Technology

Updated on October 10, 2014
Images on this web page are copyrighted by Leap Motion Inc. and used with permission.
Images on this web page are copyrighted by Leap Motion Inc. and used with permission.

The Leap Motion-Sensing Technology

The Leap was introduced by Leap Motion Inc. in May 2012 and is set to potentially revolutionize the way we interact with our computing devices like desktops, laptops, tablets, and smartphones. This touch-free, motion sensing technology has been four years in the making and is set to become mainstream.

We have seen motion-sensing technology used in gaming systems like Microsoft's Xbox 360, as well as, Ninendo's Wii which help gamers use hand gestures to control these gaming devices, hands-free. However, the Leap goes beyond hand gestures and differentiates user's fingers and thumbs. This allows pinpoint accuracy, within 1/100th of a millimeter, giving the user higher precision in controlling computing devices.

On this web page, you will learn the details about the Leap? How the Leap works? How to set up the Leap? Uses of the Leap, and much more.

Poll: The Leap

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What is the Leap? - The Leap Touch-Free, Motion-Sensing Device

Leap Motion-Sensing Touch-Free Technology
Leap Motion-Sensing Touch-Free Technology

The Leap is a motion-sensing, touch-free device, the size of an iPod, which was developed by co-founder David Holtz. As per Leap Motion, the Leap is 200 times more sensitive than similar current motion-sensing technologies. Given that the Leap is accurate to within 1/100th of a millimeter, this device is great for controlling your desktop or laptop with touch-free natural hand and finger gestures.

This level of precision allows users to control computing devices with gestures like pinch-to-zoom, drag-and-drop, scrolling, grabbing, and the like. The Leap can track all ten fingers of the user as well as distinguish between fingers and thumbs including handheld writing instruments like a pen or a pencil.

The uses of the Leap are as far as your creativity can take you. Currently, the Leap is being used for basic computing tasks like navigating desktops and laptops, surfing the internet, virtual 2D and 3D art, working with virtual 3D models, playing computer games, and the like. Essentially, the Leap device allows you users to turn their desktop or laptop screen into a touch-screen like display.

As developers embrace this technology, we can expect to see an increased number of leap-based applications like use in the heath-care industry, robotics, CAD (computer-aided design), creating real virtual environments, simulation - when it comes to the Leap, the possibilities are endless.

Priced at $70, it will make this practical technology affordable to consumers.

Leap Motion Controller

Leap Motion Controller for Mac or PC (Retail Packaging and Updated Software)
Leap Motion Controller for Mac or PC (Retail Packaging and Updated Software)

The Leap Motion Controller is designed to work on PC or Mac computers. It is a touch-free controller that allows you to interact and control your computer with hand and finger gestures. You need to install the Leap Motion software, connect the device to a USB port on your PC or Mac, and you're ready to explore the world of touch-free interaction. It recognizes air gestures like swipe, pinch, grab, and more.


Video Overview of Leap Motion-Sensing Technology

The video below shows the Leap motion-sensing device in action while the user controls and navigates a desktop computer using natural hand and finger gestures including using a pencil to draw and write.

The Leap Motion-Sensing Device
The Leap Motion-Sensing Device

How Does the Leap Work?

To set up the Leap, you have to plug it into a USB port. Once connected, the Leap can be calibrated according to the user's preference.

This allows flexibility to customize the device in controlling computing devices with natural hand and finger movements. Also, given that the Leap is precise, users can fine-tune the device's sensitivity settings in order to customize their own natural hand and finger movements.

Once the Leap has been set up, it creates a 3D interaction space of approximately 8 cubic feet. As indicated earlier, the Leap motion-sensing device is so precise that it senses all ten fingers of the user including differentiating between thumbs and fingers as well as tracking movements of writing instruments like pens and pencils.

Currently, the Leap is compatible with systems operating Windows 7, Windows 8, or Apple's Mac OS X. It also supports native touch emulation in Windows 8. As per Leap Motion, the device will include support for the Linux operating system in the future.

Hand and Finger Gestures with the Leap Motion

The Leap Hand and Finger Gestures
The Leap Hand and Finger Gestures


Images on this web page are copyrighted by Leap Motion Inc. and used with permission.

What are your thoughts on Leap Motion technology?

Guestbook: Leap Motion Technology

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    • profile image


      5 years ago

      Great work! This is the type of info that should be shared around the web.

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      I preordered one right when it came available. I am so excited for it to get here; it looks awesome! I can't wait to use it on my 27" iMac. The big screen will be really fun to use it on and I can't wait to game with it. Looks amazing and for $70 there was no reason why I wouldn't get it. I'm surprised that it's so cheap though- what a good deal!

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      Incredible technology and I imagine it will become extremely useful in the healthcare industry. Great lens.

    • ajgodinho profile imageAUTHOR

      Anthony Godinho 

      6 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      @TransplantedSoul: Yeah, I'm looking forward to trying out the Leap when it comes out in January 2013.

    • TransplantedSoul profile image


      6 years ago

      WOW! I had not seen this. I hoe to hear more about it and its compatibility with different programs.

    • Michey LM profile image

      Michey LM 

      6 years ago

      The innovation never stops... Great lens AJ, informative and well done.Blessings!

    • stevel58 profile image


      6 years ago

      Looks good can't wait to get my hands on one.

    • ella11 lm profile image

      ella11 lm 

      6 years ago

      I want one of those

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      wow amazing

    • Margaret Schindel profile image

      Margaret Schindel 

      6 years ago from Massachusetts

      Wow, I didn't realize that this technology was being made available in an affordable and versatile consumer device! Terrific information. Thanks for sharing!

    • Kumar P S profile image

      Kumar P S 

      6 years ago

      Nice lens ! Useful and informative. Thanks for sharing.

    • Keith J Winter profile image

      Keith Winter 

      6 years ago from Spain

      Cool!! Gotta have it! Shared and tweeted

    • gamrslist profile image


      6 years ago

      click i hadn't heard of it in your poll but i had clicked wrong box cool lens thanks for share


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