Leap Motion, Windows and the missing keyboard

May 21, 2013

Gesture-control tech company Leap Motion released a video Monday showing off how its technology will work with Windows. The video is a fun romp through the technology pairing’s possibilities:

But one feature of computer technology—and a popular one, to boot— is missing: the keyboard. The video shows how a stylus or fingers can be used to draw and write free-form on the screen, but there’s no word-processing or virtual keyboard. I asked Leap Motion if that would be part of the out-of-the-box suite of features, and a spokesman said Tuesday that it’s not, but that developers would be free to create one for the hardware:

“We are not, out of the box, providing a keyboard emulation app. We’ve seen a couple demos where developers are working on keyboard apps. If they  become available, users will have the option to download them (for a price set by the developer) and use them.”

It’s not the end of the world, and, if the tenor of reviews are any indication, it doesn’t detract from the technology’s “cool” factor. Some users may actually find a keyboard-free computing experience to be a welcome change, given advances in voice-control technology.


A screenshot of a video released by Leap Motion demonstrating the technology with Windows. (YouTube)

In a blog post, the company announced that a video showing how the technology would interact with a Mac is forthcoming. Leap Motion is expected to start shipping July 22, following a delay for further testing. Leap Motion announced a partnership with Hewlett-Packard in April and a partnership with Asus in January.

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Emi Kolawole · May 21, 2013