The Leap Motion is less than three months away. The motion-tracking company announced today that its "Kinect on steroids" motion controller will begin shipping from Leapmotion.com on May 13th (prioritized by pre-order date), and be available six days later from Best Buy. The launch price will be $79.99 plus shipping, a ten-dollar jump from the introductory pre-order price.
Tim Schafer's Double Fine Productions is contributing a music game called 'Dischord'
The company also announced a group of apps for its app store (now dubbed Airspace), ranging from casual games to professional software. Disney is the biggest company signed on as a developer, contributing a Wreck-It Ralph-themed racing game. Tim Schafer's Double Fine Productions is also contributing a music game called Dischord, and Zeptolabs will be porting their popular iOS game, Cut the Rope. Earlier this week, Realmac Software revealed plans to support Leap Motion with the Mac version of its to-do list app, Clear.
On the professional side, Autodesk is developing a plugin to integrate the Leap Motion into its 3D modeling, and Corel will be developing a Leap-native paint program as well. Describing possible mechanics for the Corel app, Leap CEO Michael Buckwald said, "Imagine an airbrush where, when you bring it closer, the spray narrows. Or a pencil where if you angle it, you get more of an edge."
Alongside a more display-oriented Weather Channel app, this first group of apps aims to provide a base of usable programs for the Leap Motion, so the platform doesn't have to rely entirely on its large-but-scrappy pool of independent developers. "Our main focus is that when customers plug in the device, they have a range of apps that really represent what we do," Buckwald told The Verge. The Airspace app store will launch with full support for Windows 7 and 8, as well as Mac OS 10.7 and 10.8. It will also have an iTunes-style web component, so users can preview apps from outside of the program. There's no Linux support yet, but Buckwald says it's on the horizon, and is one of the most common requests from developers.
Leap has already shipped 12,000 test units to developers around the world, and the company signed an agreement to bundle with Asus laptops earlier this year — but aside from a few press previews, few have seen the technology in action. But the public won't have to wait until May. The company is hosting its first public demo at South by Southwest in a few weeks, with finished hardware and test versions of several apps.