Teardown of 'Leap Motion' Gesture-based Controller (1)

Sep 9, 2013
Nikkei Electronics Teardown Squad
The "Leap Motion" gesture-based controller (for developers) in use
The "Leap Motion" gesture-based controller (for developers) in use
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The package of the Leap
The package of the Leap
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The message card in the package
The message card in the package
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The Leap
The Leap
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The USB cable stored under the Leap
The USB cable stored under the Leap
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The back side of the Leap
The back side of the Leap
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The anti-slip rubber sheet being removed
The anti-slip rubber sheet being removed
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The screws under the sheet
The screws under the sheet
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The optical filter
The optical filter
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Nikkei Electronics Teardown Squad was assigned a task for the first time in a long time. This time, our target was Leap Motion Inc's "Leap Motion" gesture-based controller (Leap), which accurately senses very fine movements of a finger, pen and so forth. It is connected to a personal computer, tablet computer, etc via a USB cable.

The Leap was released July 22, 2013. And an application for the Leap was downloaded one million times in three weeks after the release, drawing attention to the controller. That is why we obtained the Leap and examined its structure.

The Leap was contained in a white, fancy box. Opening the box, we found a message card that read "Welcome to a whole new world," raising our expectations. Under the card, the main body of the Leap was stored in a plastic case. When we removed the case, we found a USB 3.0 micro cable.

After wondering how to open the Leap, we decided to peel off the anti-slip rubber sheet on the back of the controller. Then, we found five screws under the sheet and took them off. Still, we could not open the case of the Leap. So, we tried to open it from the front side, on which there was a black plastic plate.

The Leap detects the location of an object by emitting light from an infrared LED lamp. The light is reflected on the object, and two cameras are used to take an image of the reflected light. It seems that the distance is calculated based on triangulation using the two cameras. And the black plastic plate is probably an optical filter that transmits only infrared light.

After removing the optical filter with a flat-blade screwdriver, we found two large "eyes."

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