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Leap Motion 3D controller coming to HP PCs and other unnamed devices

HP will begin bundling Leap's 3D motion controller with some HP PCs. Later, HP will embed the technology directly into 'unique HP devices'

HP plans to bring motion control to some of its computers this year, after striking a deal with Leap Motion.

HP this summer will begin bundling Leap's 3D motion controller with select HP PCs. Later, HP will begin embedding the technology directly into "unique HP devices," the companies said in a press release. (Leap wouldn't elaborate; the company said HP will share more details at a later date.)

HP will also pre-load these devices with Airspace, Leap's app store for motion-controlled software. Leap has already promised apps from Autodesk, Corel, and The Weather Channel, among others.

What is Leap Motion?

Leap Motion is a small device that sits on a table or desk and creates a motion control space of about eight cubic feet around it. The device promises much greater accuracy than Microsoft's Kinect, with the ability to detect subtle finger movements.

Unlike Kinect, Leap isn't a camera-based solution, so it doesn't have the same potential for facial recognition and video applications. Still, Leap is much less expensive than the PC version of Kinect, at $80 compared to $250. It also works on Macs as well as Windows PCs.

While Microsoft seems likely to make a bigger push with Kinect for Windows at some point, for now Leap is trying to fill the void and establish itself as a major player for PC motion control.

Asus has already announced that it will bundle Leap with some of its PCs later this year, and Best Buy will showcase and sell the motion controller in its stores. With HP, Leap has its first deal to get embedded directly into another company's hardware.

All of this will likely help Leap attract more app developers, who have already shown lots of interest so far. Although there are other motion controllers on the way--the armband-based MYO looks particularly interesting--app support will be crucial as these devices try to find new uses that aren't better-served by a mouse and keyboard.

Leap will begin shipping to those who pre-ordered on May 13, and Best Buy will begin stocking the device on May 19.

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