This past week was a turning point for Leap Motion, as we announced our shipping date and launched a new Airspace forum. In this week’s newsletter, we bring you the latest details about SXSW and the SDK update. Also: zombies, flying saucers, and controlling your computer with your tongue. Read on for the latest news from your community.

Featured News

In case you haven’t heard, we made a huge announcement on Wednesday. On May 13, Leap Motion Controller pre-orders will be shipping to consumers worldwide. As well, the device will launch exclusively in the U.S. at Best Buy stores on May 19. Thanks to our developer community, we eagerly anticipate a wide variety of apps that will be available through Airspace™, the exclusive Leap Motion application store. Learn more.

In other news, we’ve launched a new forum for developers to learn more about Airspace. Check out the forum, read the new review guidelines, and post your thoughts. We’re working on getting Airspace ready for your app submissions very soon – so stay tuned.

SDK 0.7.5 is here

The latest version of the SDK is now available for download. We’ve added gestures to the WebSocket JSON output and the JavaScript client library (available from GitHub), plus Mac retina display support. The new release also fixes a few bugs, including a problem with low framerates on certain computers. As always, be sure to use the latest version, and let us know what you think.

Forum Highlights

Poking zombies with the Leap Motion Controller.

Preparing for the imminent zombie apocalypse and helping brain injury patients? Sounds like a winning combination to us. Realitycontrols recently won the “Best for Patient” award at the first-ever Hacking Health Vancouver by creating an application to test the response time of patients with brain injuries by poking zombies.

Flying Saucer Championship with the Leap Motion Controller

Retro gaming meets sci-fi motion-control technology. Flying Saucer Championship, labe-me’s latest creation, is a flying saucer race that you can play from your browser. Warning: you may lose several hours of your life playing this game.

We always enjoy conversations about ergonomics here at Leap Motion. Greglgomez recently wrote a thought-provoking post about the best pointing ratios for the Leap Motion Controller. What do you think? Tell us about your experience.

An open-source application library for the Leap Motion Controller has made a big splash on the forums, as developers have flocked to OpenLeap.org to share their projects.

Developer Events

SXSWThe big story for this week is SXSW – if you’re in Austin, TX from March 9–11, come check out the Leap Motion Experience and our featured session. There’s also a special developer meetup at our SXSW space.

Developer Meetup @ SXSW

515 Cesar Chavez (Ironworks BBQ parking lot)
Monday, March 11 from 4:30 – 6 pm CT
A special get-together for the Leap Motion developer community. If you’re able to attend, you can register by clicking the button below. We have limited space available, so make sure to reserve your ticket. SXSW registration badges are not required. Hope to see you there!

Eventbrite - Leap Motion Developer Meetup @ SXSW 2013

The Leap Motion Experience

515 Cesar Chavez (Ironworks BBQ parking lot)
March 9–11 between 10 am – 4 pm CT
We will have a fun, immersive space where members of the public will be invited to try some exciting new apps. SXSW registration badges are not required.

Featured Session: Leap Motion & the Disappearing Interface

Austin Convention Center, Exhibit Hall 5
Saturday, March 9 at 12:30 – 1:30 pm CT
Leap Motion co-founder and CTO David Holz and co-founder and CEO Michael Buckwald will speak with The Wall Street Journal’s Jessica Lessin about the future of user interfaces. SXSW registration badges are required. Learn more.

Are you giving a Leap Motion Controller demo? Looking to meet and collaborate with other developers? Post your event notices in the Events & Meetups forum.

Tips and Tricks

Can I use my tongue to control the Leap Motion Controller?
It may seem like a strange question – but if you don’t have hands, or suffer from quadriplegia, then controlling your computer with your tongue makes a lot of sense. As PaulSolt showed in a recent video, you certainly can – and it’s way more hygienic than using your mouse!

I want to make a video about my cool new app – how can I make an effective video?
We had some great answers posted for this question. Here are a few simple tips to make your video stand out:

  • Show your hand and the on-screen feedback. The best angle is over the shoulder, so you can show how your hand is essentially reaching into the computer.
  • Use a camcorder rather than a cellphone cam for optimal quality.
  • Practice narrating a few times before making the video.
  • Get some ambient light so that it doesn’t look like “you’re coming to us live from your crawlspace nerd cave.” (Thanks for that tip, noouch!)

If you have any tips for making awesome demo videos, you can post on the thread.

How can I create apps using the free version of Unity?
The answer is too long to paste here, but if you’re a fan of Unity, you’ll love this Knowledge Base article by Joe Ward.

“Apps should only receive instructions/gestures if it’s in the active window.” Why is this necessary?
This Airspace guideline (section 2.1.3) means that your application should not receive input from the Leap Motion Controller unless it’s in the active window. This will avoid confusion and frustration when multiple Leap Motion-enabled apps are running. (If you imagine your keystrokes being entered into all of your running applications, you can appreciate how important this is!)