If you’ve seen as many science fiction films as I have, you’re probably familiar with how characters with are shown to move virtual objects in midair with their hands, without ever touching a keyboard or a touchscreen. The idea is pretty impressive and has become the staple for computer/virtual reality interaction in almost any sci-fi flick.

And now, technology is finally catching up with imagination. Let’s take a closer look at the Leap Motion controller and software – a cool concept that shows a lot of promise despite some frustrating glitches.

Leap Motion Officially Out for $80

The Leap Motion controller and software were officially released for sale about a week ago and it yet remains to be seen if sales will live up to the hype surrounding the project before launch.

Reviews were generally mixed, most of them welcoming the concept as innovative and an amazing glimpse of the future but noting that the controller still has some limitations that make it hard or uncomfortable to use for some apps.

Manufacturers say the Leap Motion sensor can track the user’s finger and hand movement with up to 1/100th mm accuracy and no obvious delay. But this high degree of accuracy also requires very accurate gestures, which is not always achievable.

Another problem is that the system is not intuitive enough and is not able to properly interpret your hand gestures and translate them into commands, which makes even simple tasks like clicking and scrolling virtually impossible.

Keep in mind however that this is just version 1.0 and the exciting technology behind this product has a lot of potential to do so much more in future versions. Not to mention the wide range of applications that could be developed especially for this product.

The Leap Motion retails for $80 and so far only works with fairly modern PCs and Macs, via USB connection. It requires a PC with Intel Core i3 or AMD Phenom II, Windows 7 or 8 and at least 2GB RAM, or a Mac running OS X 10.7 or higher. There are plans to embed the Leap Motion sensor in laptops and all in one systems as well.

Users will also have access to specific apps designed for the Leap Motion, on the product’s Airspace Store. The website currently offers over 75 free and paid applications and games.

What do you think of the Leap Motion? Would you give it a try? Check out the technology in action below:

[Image via thenextweb]