(Phys.org) —HP is taking the leap as the first laptop maker to sell a machine with Leap Motion gesture control technology embedded into the computer. HP announced Thursday that the HP ENVY17 Leap Motion Special Edition laptop is coming next month. This special edition will carry the Leap Motion technology and the Leap Motion Airspace app platform. Target date in the US is October 16 at a price starting at $1,049.99. Leap Motion deals in technology that allows users to control their computers with hand gestures alone. The creators did not only think of users taking to gesture control for games but also users taking to gesture control for work in presentations and design. The user controls the computer with two hands and ten fingers moving through the air. Until now, using the technology on a laptop required getting a Leap Motion Controller, which is a small USB device that plugs into a computer's USB port.
This technology is embedded within the HP Envy 17 special edition laptop, and the user finds an ostensible Leap Motion device below the keyboard, in a place referred to as the "wrist rest," for gesture control. Once the sensor is calibrated, it can be turned on and off using the spacebar plus function key. An integrated status LED lights up when Leap Motion is active.
Leap Motion's Airspace Store is included to make use of related apps. Airspace Home will be preloaded on the notebooks, and will come bundled with five apps: Boom Ball, Jungle Jumper, Dropchord, Disney Sugar Rush, and Jack Lumber, an HP-exclusive app. (Airspace Store and Airspace Home are both parts of Airspace —Airspace Store is where you buy and download apps;. Airspace Home is where you go to launch them.)
In order to achieve an embedded Leap Motion, the company had to rethink size, for a new module. "Our hardware engineers designed a new micro sensor that's only 3.5 millimeters in height (less than half the height of the controller)," according to Leap Motion.
If this is phase one for HP in offering a gesture control laptop as a special edition device, the move is phase two for Leap Motion in playing out its roadmap.
Having launched its standalone device, the company anticipates further growth in the embedded market, where other devices will make use of its technology. Michael Buckwald, co-founder and CEO of Leap Motion, sees the micro sensor as important for the company. "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."
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