PC-maker HP's partnership with Leap Motion will bring integrated gesture control to the company's future notebook and desktop computers.
In a move that Hewlett Packard claims will bring "incredible user experience" to its PC range, Leap Motion hardware will be built directly into
desktop and notebooks, which are expected to hit the shelves as early as this summer.
Leap Motion is the start-up company behind the Leap Motion Controller -- a small device that, once plugged into a computer's USB port, can translate individual finger movements into commands and actions.
The company claims its device is so sensitive it can simultaneously track and recognize the movements of each finger on each hand individually within a space of 8 cubic feet.
HP says that for now, the controller device will be bundled with its computing products while it works to directly integrate the technology into its forthcoming models.
Leap Motion-enabled HP devices will come pre-loaded with Airspace, Leap Motion's application store. Inside Airspace, users will discover a wide range of software across gaming, music, education, art, productivity and more.
"Customers want to go to the next level when creating and interacting with digital content," said Ron Coughlin, senior vice president and general manager, Consumer PCs at HP. "Leap Motion's groundbreaking 3-D motion control combined with HP technology and amazing developer apps will create incredible user experiences."
Some commentators have written off the partnership as a desperate attempt by HP to breathe life into its falling sales, and while there may be some truth to the assertions (global PC shipments slumped below 80 million for the first time since 2009 this quarter), it is also clear that the mouse and the keyboard are not going to play a major role in the next hi-tech age.
As well as HP, Asus has also partnered with Leap Motion and currently bundles the Controller with its premium notebooks and all-in-one desktop computers.
Leap Motion has strongly hinted that the deal with HP is simply another in a long list of future announcements. The company says that it is working on deals with other hardware manufacturers and with companies in other areas including healthcare -- Leap Motion claims the controller has already been put through its paces by surgeons.
However, one thing is clear: it will not be partnering with Apple in the immediate future, despite the fact that its president, Andy Miller, is an ex-employee.
"Apple's not big in partnering and playing nice with the field and creating relationships," Miller said in an interview with the BBC this week. "I'm not sure if under
Tim [Cook] things will change. We've definitely had conversations with Apple on a lot of fronts, but HP was much more aggressive and made us a great deal."
The Leap Motion controller is available for pre-order for $79.99 directly from the Leap Motion website or via Amazon in the US or UK. The first devices will ship in May.
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