What's in The Leap?Molly Wood interrogates The Leap founders, a device that aims to revolutionize how we interact with computers.
-So, of course, everything is in 3D, so these are a lot more interesting. -Wow. -Different actions like, you know, zoom in, zoom out, rotate left or rotate right, tilt up, tilt down, you know, really just be one action. -This is David Holz, one of the co-creators of The Leap, a small rectangular device with the humble goal of revolutionizing how we interact with our computers. My face during David's demo says it all. It is mind blowing. You look like a wizard, -Don't tell me-- -you actually look a lot like you're a wizard. -I'm actually a wizard. Of course, and we still like to do simple things as well. So, in this case, we're sort of doing a normal touch, a normal touch application -Uh-huh. -or software is not actually communicating to this program directly. What it's doing is it's telling the computer, okay you have a touch screen and here I'm actually touching the screen right now. I'm touching it there or other so we can really nice back [unk] compatibility with, you know, things like windows 8 and all that new sort of tablets stuff coming to the computer. -Uh-huh. -So, that' kind of fun. -That's very clever. The Leap became a geek sensation when its teaser demo on YouTube showcased everything that gadget could do. The Leap device will initially support Windows and Mac and then Linux soon after. The company plans to ship in February 2013 for $70. Now, that may sound like a lot, but it's less than some precision gaming mice can cost. This device is part of a revolution in the idea of input. If the mouse changed everything, you can assume that the next user interface is really all about the user. Like Google's project glass, which would let you wear a device and share moments as you're leaving them. And then there's Microsoft connect, the motion technology that arguably started the body control trend. -Previous. -Connect recently got expanded voice controls for game play and menu selection. -So, with you know, Connect, people have gotten used to the idea of using her whole body or big arm gestures. Are talking a much more precise interaction? -Absolutely, we think that if this is going to be a genuinely better way for people to interact with computers, then they have to be very precise, subtle, newest movements/interactions. In that way, you have all the power and this feeling of connectedness, which we want to achieve. -Uh-huh. -But you don't get tired. -So far the biggest question about the Leap is what's the tech inside? I was determined to find out. So, I know you guys have been famously KJ about the technology, but I wouldn't be doing my job if I didn't grab you by the shoulders and ask you what's in there? -Well, at the end of the day, it's based on a fundamentally new approach to motion sensing. It's never been used before in academia or commercial end. -Totally, what's in there though? -Well-- It's-- -Michael please. Are you talking about-- -Right now it a very technical process. -Obviously, but tell me how-- -A lot of technical know how. Like I said it's a fundamentally new approach. It's never been used before. -Okay. -Absolutely. -So, may be like lighter though, that? -Well. People will find out soon enough. I'm sure that-- as soon as we're shipping this in February, people will recognize boxes of this. Not wider enough or structured way. Really, nothing that most people are guessing. -I only have one question. What's in there? -Well, some magical dust. Yeah, it really is fundamentally new and it's really exciting to us because we're at essentially the very first stage of what's going to be decades of innovation and improvement on this new approach. There's plenty of room to grow and the Leap is only going to get better over time. -Maybe unlike rotating-- -Even though the guts are still a mystery, the company says the Leap is for every one. They're working with third party developers for all kinds of uses. 26,000 or more developers have applied to create content for the Leap. Expectant app store that could let specialized users like engineers used the Leap to build 3D models of cars or scientist who might wanna visualize complex protein structures and of course the app store will include important apps for you and me. -You can-- I mean, the possibilities seem endless, which I'm sure you know. If I have this and the simple pieces offering a 3D printer like I own the world. -Yeah. -Right, mostly right there 3D print it, bring it out behind you and you got it now. -Boom! I'm a wizard. -Boom! You're wizard, yeah. You can wheel things into reality.