Courtesy Donald Melanson, Engadget
Leap has been accepting pre-orders for its motion controller for some time now, and has been promising a ship date of May 13th since February, but there’s now been a slight change of plans. The company has confirmed that it’s delaying those shipments until July 22nd. In a letter sent to pre-order customers (included after the break), Leap CEO Michael Buckwald explains that the company has already manufactured over six hundred thousand devices and delivered twelve thousand to developers, and says “the reality is we very likely could have hit the original ship date.” But, he adds, “it wouldn’t have left time for comprehensive testing.”
That’s now set to begin in the form of a beta test that will start in June, which will see developers who’ve already received a unit get a feature complete product, and other non-developers invited to join as well. According to Buckwald, that expanded beta test is “the only way we felt 100% confident we could deliver a truly magical product that would do justice to this new form of interaction.” He’ll be participating in an openGoogle Hangout tomorrow to discuss the move further — specific details on it are promised to be coming soon.
Courtesy Ars Technica
It’s been over a year since Leap Motion first publicly unveiled its idea for a gum-pack-sized motion tracker that promised sub-millimeter accuracy and easy finger tracking. I finally got a chance to try the promising technology at PAX East this weekend, and I’ve got to say it seems to deliver on that initial promise. The Leap Motion was hidden away in the Double Fine booth, where it was being shown alongside DropChord, a musical puzzle-action game designed specifically for the Leap Motion.
Using two index fingers, players point toward two dots on a hollow circle, creating a line through the middle that can be used to collect dots while avoiding painful sparks. After a short calibration, the Leap Motion tracked my fingers incredibly well, with none of the jumpiness and delay inherent in technologies like the Kinect. Picking out arcs with my outstretched index fingers quickly became second nature, and I was largely able to forget that the Leap Motion device was even there. It was like something out of Minority Report, as you can see in the video below.
Gaming Editor Kyle Orland goes hands-on with LeapMotion at PAX East 2013.
The biggest problem with the controls was that my left hand would occasionally wander outside the detection area for the unit, and it would take me a second to realize the problem and reorient my hand. The Leap Motion also seemed to have a little trouble picking up the quick finger flicks that are supposed to send the arc whipping around the edge of the circle, but this is just as likely a software issue as a hardware problem.
While DropChord could probably easily be redesigned to work with a dual-stick controller, the feeling of direct manipulation granted by the Leap Motion felt both more accurate and more enjoyable. We can’t wait to see what other developers come up with for the device.