Asus to bundle Leap Motion motion-control technology with select laptops, all-in-one PCs

Summary:The upstart company's partnership is part of a strategy to outflank Microsoft's Kinect hardware for PCs.

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While Microsoft has made its Kinect motion-control technology available for Windows PCs for some time, it hasn't exactly pushed hard for its widespread adoption. That's given an opening to Leap Motion, a start-up firm with its own motion tech product for both Windows and Mac computers.

Leap Motion is readying its standalone hardware for release later this year for $70, but in the meantime, it's secured a major partnership with Asus, which will bundle Leap Motion technology with select computers. In particular, Asus says it will include the motion-control tech in certain premium laptops and high-end all-in-one desktop PCs released later this year.

It's a win-win for both companies, as Asus burnishes its innovative credentials while Leap Motion can point to an increased install base as it woos developers to create software that makes use of its gesture-control interface. Though Leap Motion claims 40,000 developers have already shown interest in working with the company, deals like the one with Asus will provide legitimacy -- as will the $30 million in funding the firm just received.

Given the viewing distance when people use computers -- unlike when they use devices like tablets and smartphones -- wireless motion control may make more sense as a future interface than touch. Whether Leap Motion can convince enough consumers and PC partners of its technology's advantages remains to be seen, but at least it appears to be spurring development along those lines more than Microsoft is these days.

Topics: Laptops, Hardware, PCs

About

Sean Portnoy started his tech writing career at ZDNet nearly a decade ago. He then spent several years as an editor at Computer Shopper magazine, most recently serving as online executive editor. He received a B.A. from Brown University and an M.A. from the University of Southern California.

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