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

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.

TOPICS: Laptops, Hardware, PCs

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

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  • I just have one question about this tech

    If the tech is "always on", that is, the motion of the on screen cursor is always keyed to the motion of a person's finger, than when a user is typing, does the cursor "dart" all over the screen at the same time?
    • To answer your question.

      I'd imagine that, with everything being done the way it is, You wouldn't use an actual Hardware keyboard. I would stand to say that you would use the onscreen keyboard that is integrated into every OS for accessibility.
  • Cursor while typing

    I would expect the system to be smart enough to detect when the user is typing on the keyboard and freeze the cursor.
    Heck if I Know
  • This will be great with Windows 8, horrible on os x

    Windows 8 is designed from the ground up to work well with alternative input mechanisms that are less precise than keyboard + mice. Microsoft has been skating to where the puck is going. They'll get there first.

    Meanwhile, os x is completely unusable in a touch (and hence motion-control) environment. Tiny icons, tiny menus, tiny close buttons lead to frustration, anger, and resentment.

    Kudos to Microsoft for helping to redefine the computing device.
    • rolls eyes

      oh pleeessee... . Loverock JR.. Might be good on an iPad though.
      • Yes, it will be great on an ipad

        "Leap Motion's module is smartphone sized and connects to a USB port"

        Uh oh.

        PS Surface RT has a USB port.
    • Lol

      I don't think you have tried a newer Mac have you? Icons are resizable, the dock is resizable. The leap motion video shows how well it works with osx. On top of it, osx supports a ton of trackpad guesstures: four finger swipe to switch virtual desktops and apps, launch pad would work great for swiping through apps. Two finger scroll, etc etc. im sure leap has mapped these or allows the user too. Go use mountain Lion before you bash apple with little knowledge of their os. I won't bash windows because I like and use both daily. But to say apple doesn't support guesstures or that it would be unusable with touch is stupid. The trackpad is touch and they have a ton of guesstures which Leap lets you set and customize mappings. Plus apple is slowly but surely unifying osx and ios. It's obvious to anyone that's seen the transitions from lion to mountain lion.
  • Apple User Interface

    Toddbottom3 needs to give it a rest. His constant rants against Apple is just tiring.
    While I use an old Windows laptop, I am sure my next computer will be a Mac.
    Apple seems to know what UI is appropriate for a "desktop" environment and what UI for a touch device phone and tablet. Microsoft with Win8 is forcing computers to start up with a UI designed for mobile users. For their laptop I have to see a reviewer complain about Apples multitouch gesture trackpad. In addition, their iSight camera is being used for gestures in several apps:
    • Excellent news

      "iSight camera is being used for gestures"

      Then you clearly don't need Leap Motion. You already have something far better. iSight. Better tell Asus not to bother with this then.
  • Making Windows 8 irrelevant: Leap Motion

    And thus, another chapter in Windows irrelevance. How Xbox team can be lightyears ahead of Windows team without either knowing it, is beyond me (they didn't get a clue from their own Kinect).
    D.J. 43
    • You'll need to explain

      How is Windows 8 incompatible with Leap Motion?

      Once you come up with your answer, you might want to tell Asus because they seem to believe that this WILL work with Windows 8.

      Now have fun trying to hit tiny little menu items in os x. This technology will work FAR better with Windows 8 than it will with os x.
  • Demo of Leap Motion

    To give readers a better idea of what this interface can be used for, an embedded video should have been included. Here's a link to one demo I came across:
  • Pretty dumb move by ASUS: putting the carriage in front of the horse...

    "...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"

    To make any product successful, it first needs to have the applications available to justify the price. And, I'm not talking about an apps ecosystem. Leap Motion is talking about "claims" of some 40,000 developers "showing interest". That's not a very comforting scenario for potential buyers of the system. If they purchase a PC or laptop with the device, and the device doesn't get enough developers to create software for the system, then it will have been a very bad purchase, especially when it's going to be marketed as an add-on to the higher-end devices. How many people are going to jump at the opportunity to be the first to wait for the applications to come? DUMB!!!
    • Who's dumb?

      Sounds like there may be more interest in the LeapMotion then in the Surface. But you have to get the hardware out there in order to get ANY software to speak of. iPad and Android didn't start with the selection they have now either.
  • Do not buy from ASUS, they don't honor their warranty.

    I bought an ASUS notebook. The ASUS webpage describes the notebook as having a 2-year parts and labor warranty. The web page of the retailer from whom I bought the notebook describes it as having a 2-year parts and labor warranty. I called the retailer's customer support, and they told me it has a 2-year warranty.

    I call ASUS for warranty service and they tell me the laptop has a 1-year warranty. A dozen phone calls over 6 weeks plus two escalations and they still refuse to honor their 2-year warranty, in spite of the proof I have given them.

    Do not buy from ASUS, they don't honor their warranty.