Leap Motion's 'Minority Report'-esque controller ships to first buyers

Leap 1
The Leap Motion Controller in action, controlling a 3-D game.

The Leap Motion Controller, which tracks users' hands with great precision and allows for gesture controls like those made famous in the movie "Minority Report," is arriving this week on the doorsteps of those who pre-ordered it.

Leap device
The device is extremely small and powered by USB.

Leap Motion's device tracks your hand and fingers with an infrared sensor, and the company claims that it's hundreds of times more sensitive than similar devices like the Kinect. And it's all in a device about the size of a stick of gum and costs a surprisingly low $80.

Imagine brushing aside windows with a wave of the hand, pausing Netflix with a raised palm, or just using your finger to control the cursor when your wrist is sore from long hours of Excel (or games).

Of course, even the coolest peripheral is useless if nothing works with it. And right now the Leap is compatible mainly with a stable of 75 approved apps they've collected at Leap Motion's "Airspace Store."

A few companies are already lined up to implement the device in their apps and games (Corel and Disney, for instance), but until some bigger names like Microsoft and Adobe take up the call, it may be more of an impressive tech demo than a transformative experience.

The Leap Motion Controller is just now arriving in buyers' and reviewers' laps; we'll be posting our hands-on experience with it later this week.

Devin Coldewey is a contributing writer for NBC News Digital. His personal website is