Ken Yeung is a reporter for The Next Web based in San Francisco, CA. He carries around a big camera & likes to write about tech, startup Ken Yeung is a reporter for The Next Web based in San Francisco, CA. He carries around a big camera & likes to write about tech, startups, parties, and interesting people. Follow him on Twitter, on Facebook, and Google+.
Leap Motion, the maker of the 3D gesture controller, is moving into other devices to help bridge the compatibility gap when it comes to hardware. Today it unveiled a new micro sensor that enables manufacturers to utilize Leap Motion’s technology in other form factors. Leveraging its partnership with HP formed in April, it has integrated its service into the HP Envy 17 notebook PC.
Available for purchase starting “in the next few weeks”, the HP Envy 17 Leap Motion Special Edition computer becomes the first hardware to have Leap Motion’s technology pre-installed. However, that shouldn’t stop developers or consumers from experimenting with its capabilities. Leap Motion can also work with other devices separately through its standalone sensor.
To make the HP Envy 17 a reality, Leap Motion created a micro sensor that is just 3.5 millimeters tall and is the smallest 3D motion control technology device on the market today. It’s embedded below the keyboard and can be activated by simply selecting function plus the space bar. HP will also be pre-installing Leap Motion’s Airspace Home software and relevant apps, although neither company specified which ones they’d be.
The price for this special edition notebook PC? $1049.99. It’s going to be available in select US retailers first, before being available worldwide and on HP’s website.
Leap Motion’s co-founder and CEO Michael Buckwald said in a statement that “with our new micro sensor, there’s tremendous opportunity to integrate into other form factors like keyboards, smartphones, tablets, head-mounted displays and more. This is the next step for our company, with tremendous potential for the future.”
He’s right as until now, being able to just buy the Leap Motion controller isn’t enough to show that consumers are interested in it. By integrating the technology into mainstream products like the HP Envy 17 computer may entice more people to give it a shot and show them that Leap Motion has some applicability in their real life.
There’s certainly interest in Leap Motion. The company tells us that it is seeing strong sales of its controller around the world, having shipped hundreds of thousands in pre-orders in July. There are more than 1 million downloads of apps built around the technology and is seeing a strong developer community behind it.
Currently, the only places where you can get a Leap Motion Controller was either on the company’s website or at Best Buy, its exclusive retail partner. In the UK, consumers can purchase it at Maplin Electronics.
Photo credit: Leap Motion
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