One of Quartz’s five most disruptive technologies of 2012 has just received $30 million in series B financing as well as a deal with PC maker ASUS that could see its technology incorporated into laptops and desktop computers. The result will be PCs that can recognize gestures using the Leap, a gadget the size of a stick of gum that connects to a computer’s USB port or can be built in. According to Leap Motion, the system is sensitive enough to detect where all ten of a persons’s fingers are, down to a resolution of 0.01 mm. That may sound impossibly accurate, but this demo looks impressive and speaks volumes about the potential of the technology.
It’s not clear yet whether gesture-based interfaces can (or should) completely replace other forms of input, like the mouse or the trackpad. But it seems certain that they will become an important, and probably ubiquitous, supplement to how we interact with just about every computing device we own. Currently, the Leap works with Windows 8 and Mac OS X, but forthcoming versions will work with ARM processors, which means it could be incorporated into smartphones and tablets.