Leap Motion Opens Airspace, Expands Beta Testing

Amy Castor
Jun. 27 2013, 11:00AM EDT

In preparation for next month’s launch of its 3D controller, Leap Motion is moving to the next phase of its beta testing. The gesture control company has opened up Airspace, its online app store, along with other aspects of its software to early access developers.

“This week we’re rolling out the latest stage of the Leap Motion beta to our early access developer community. Thousands of developers around the globe will soon be testing the consumer experience to help smooth the rough edges and hunt for bugs,” the company stated in a blog post.

Since last year, more than 60,000 developers applied to be part of Leap’s early access developer program. Of those, more than 10,000 were sent developer kits, so they could get an early start on building killer apps for the Leap controller, a tiny device that lets you control a computer with hand and finger movements. Leap plans to open its code base to the public in late July after the product launch.

Over the next several weeks, beta users will be able to use Leap software to test interactions with Mac and Windows operating systems. They will also be among the first to buy, browse and download apps from Airspace. Right now, 50 apps are available through the online store, but Leap expects about 100 by the time its device ships on July 22.

Early access developers can also fiddle with Airspace Home, a desktop launcher for Airspace and any apps that make use of the Leap API, and take a look at an interactive tutorial that orients users on how to work in 3D space and the Leap Motion field-of-view and zone of interaction.

If you have an idea for a Leap application and need help putting things into action, do not despair. Last week, Highland Capital announced  a $25 million Leap Fund to support developers and entrepreneurs building businesses that take advantage to the Leap platform.

"With the Leap Fund, we aim to make investments in companies that will further accelerate the adoption of Leap Motion's technology into our daily lives," said Manish Patel of Highland Capital Partners. "This technology has the potential to transform numerous industries and impact millions of people, and we're excited to support the company."

If you have an idea for the Leap API that needs funding, you can submit your idea here.

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