The Leap Motion Controller Is About To Get A Whole Lot Better

The Leap Motion controller has always looked awesome, but its performance didn’t quite live up to the promise. A software update is about to fix that, making every Leap Motion controller out there better in an instant.

The new V2 Tracking Beta rolling out to developers now adds a whole wealth of superpowers to the Leap Motion’s software brain, making its hardware eyes all the more useful.

Among the new powers? The ability to grok your hand even when the controller can’t actually see all your fingers. If one part of your hand blocks the view of another, the controller can now more accurately guess at what’s really going on, because it’s learned to tracks the joints and bones inside your fingers, calculating for the fleshy bits on the outside, instead of just thinking of your digits as little moving sticks.

The new software is also “massively” improved when it comes to ambient infrared light, which should mean that sunlight and powerful halogens won’t make the little box blind like they used to.

Of course the challenge that even the best software in the world won’t solve for Leap is finding a compelling use for it. Unless you’re Elon Musk and designing rockets for SpaceX, the Leap Motion Controller is mostly still a toy, but it looks like it’s about to be a better one. And who knows, between this release and the consumer update to follow, maybe someone will figure out how to make the Leap a must-have for every desk. Maybe.

No word on when the improvements will finally reach existing owners, but Leap Motion will be putting the beta through its paces “in the coming months”. Plenty of time for you to figure out the best way to use your new — or at least improved — toy. [Leap Motion Blog]