Another recent announcement from 3D Systems President and CEO Avi Reichental indicated that the company has been seeking ways to simplify the creation of 3D content suitable for 3D printing. Evidently they've been working with the Leap Motion 3D sensor in particular, but we have little information beyond that.
The Leap Motion sensor is a revolutionary, yet tiny device that promises to change much about how you interface with computers. It's a small, innocuous USD$80 box that sits quietly in front of your screen. But it's timid appearance doesn't indicate what it does: it tracks, in 3D, motion.
The designers of the Leap Motion apparently were inspired to implement the amazing visual scenes in the Tom Cruise movie, Minority Report, where characters simply wave, point and gesture to control massive transparent screens. The Leap Motion is the detector, able to precisely track finger movements within an eight cubic foot area.
But if such a detector could track the motion of hands, apparently to sub-millimeter accuracy (actually 0.01mm for each finger), the device could prove to be an amazing interface for a 3D modeling tool. One can only imagine the simplicity of just using your hands to manipulate a 3D model. We think such a move could be a big breakthrough in enabling the public to practically create 3D models, and that can only be a good thing.
There's just one problem: the Leap Motion device is not yet available. As we understand it, the device doesn't ship until July 22d.