Leap Motion, which created 3D gesture control, is expanding its developer program with the release of a new software development kit.

The San Francisco company, founded in 2010 by Michael Buckwald and David Holz, is currently giving an additional 10,000 developers free Leap units in a move to escalate the quantity of prospective applications that will work with the company’s ground-breaking technology set for launch early in 2013.

The Leap 3D motion control system — which is 200 times more sensitive than existing motion-control technology — allows users to navigate and interact with computer applications using natural hand and finger movements.

So far, 40,000 developers have applied for developer units since May.

Developers will be able to monetize their creations in the upcoming Leap application store.

Leap Motion also released an update to its software development kit (SDK) and is providing a new game demo application, called Block 54, designed specifically for the Leap.

“The Leap SDK update will include a library of pre-defined interaction APIs,” reads a company press release. “These APIs will allow developers to detect a user’s natural movements, such as a pinch or a grab, and map them to a specific task or manipulation of an object within their digital environment. With this latest SDK, developers will be able to accelerate their efforts to create amazing apps for the upcoming Leap application store.”

Block 54 is a block balancing and stacking game demo that demonstrates how users can interrelate with digital environments “in a realistic and intuitive manner.”

“By creating a visual 3-D environment responsive to the hand’s position, the Leap allows users to immerse themselves in a digital world like never before,” the company said in its press release.

As part of the SDK release, Leap Motion has made Block 54 available to developers currently in the developer program, along with a demonstration of the game in action.

“Our top priority is making sure that when the Leap ships to consumers, it is supported by a wide array of quality apps,” said Leap Motion co-founder and CEO Michael Buckwald. “With this in mind we’re expanding our developer program to send 10,000 new developers units to design apps for the Leap. Leap Motion isn’t just about a single technological advancement —we’re about building a lasting company that delivers an entirely new computing interaction paradigm.”


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