While Microsoft continues to push its Kinect motion-control device for Windows PCs, Leap Motion has been doing the same thing with its own gesture-recognition technology. In addition to selling its own module to use with your system, the upstart firm has partnered with companies -- most notably, HP -- to bundle its tech with their hardware.
In addition to building gesture controls into its Envy 17 Leap Motion SE laptop, HP has offered the technology in keyboards shipped with a number of its desktops, including many all-in-one PCs. Now it's decided to let anyone who needs a new keyboard have the chance to purchase it, regardless of if you have an HP desktop or not.
According to Engadget, Leap Motion is claiming that HP will sell its Leap Motion keyboard as a $99 standalone product starting this month. That means as long as you have Leap Motion's free software downloaded on your Windows 7 or 8 PC, you can use the keyboard to control various software programs with the wave of your hand instead of the click of a mouse.
While many of the programs that support Leap Motion are games and other entertainment apps, Google Earth, Autodesk Maya 2014, and even an app from the New York Times can make use of its gesture controls. The price for the keyboard, or Leap Motion's $79.99 module, is far cheaper than the $199 Kinect for Windows v2 device, and the beta version of its latest software will support skeletal tracking like the Kinect for Windows v2 sensor.
Nonetheless, both devices are still trying to drum up interest in gesture controls for the PC from both consumers and developers. Clearly, HP's decision to sell the Leap Motion keyboard separately could help generate more interest in gesture recognition, but it remains to be seen how long it will remain a niche form of input -- perhaps interest from Apple and Intel can move things along.