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HP reveals 'world's first' Envy notebook with in-built Leap Motion tech

Leap Motion is expanding its horizons, this week announcing plans for a Hewlett-Packard-branded 3D-motion-controlled notebook.

Carrying a $1,049.99 (£650) pricetag, the 17in HP Envy special edition laptop is set for an October rollout; a specific release date has not been revealed.

At first glance, the computer looks and operates identically to any other HP-built machine. But a dark plastic window on the surface allows for the user to interact with the embedded sensor. To activate the Leap Motion Controller just tap the Function key and the spacebar, and find your favourite apps via the built-in Airspace platform.

"Our vision has always been about bringing motion control to as many people as possible," Mike Zagorsek, vice president of product marketing, said about Leap Motion's move into the PC space.

It wasn't as easy as shoving an existing 3 x 1in Motion Controller into a laptop, though. In order to embed the device into a portable computer, Leap developed a new microsensor — one that is significantly smaller than its predecessor, standing only 3.5mm tall, yet still as powerful.

"We also knew we had the capacity to really shrink the technology," Zagorsek said. "This type of interaction [with HP] was the next step."

There is more up Leap Motion's sleeve, though the company is remaining tight-lipped about future projects, revealing only that more devices will reach the market in the coming months.

Leap introduced its controller in May, and quickly garnered interest from more than 60,000 global developers. The device includes a 150-degree field of view and the ability to track individual hands and all 10 fingers at up to 290 frames per second.

"The possibilities for innovation are incredible when you think about what will come from this collaboration between two respected global leaders in their fields," Leap CEO Michael Buckwald said in April, when the company first announced its HP partnership.

The Leap Motion Controller launched in the UK for £69.99 in July.