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Leap Motion's 'Free Form' app is like Play-Doh of the digital age

Leap Motion's 'Free Form' app is like Play-Doh of the digital age
Leap Motion on Wednesday released Free Form, an app that lets users create 3-D models using the company's motion-sensor controller. (Leap Motion)

Leap Motion has announced a new app that allows users to digitally sculpt 3-D models using the company's innovative motion-sensor control.

The San Francisco start-up said Free Form lets users shape digital figures on their computers by moving their hands and fingers above the Leap Motion Controller, which went on sale earlier this year.

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With Free Form, users can create models of all sorts of shapes, and when finished, they can save their figures and print them if they have access to a 3-D printer.

Leap Motion CEO and co-founder Michael Buckwald compared the new app to Play-Doh.

"It's kind of insane that a small child with Play-Doh can build something more sophisticated than you or I can with a computer," Buckwald told The Times. "But that doesn't have to be true with this app."

Leap Motion was originally inspired when one of the company's co-founders tried to create a 3-D model but found the process too time consuming using computers. So for the company, Free Form is a return to it roots.

The start-up burst onto the scene last year when it unveiled its motion-sensor device on the Web and began taking pre-orders. This year, it began selling the gadget and partnering with computer-makers to distribute it to more users.

On Wednesday, Leap Motion also announced that since launching in July, it has doubled the number of apps available for its device to 150.

Additionally, the company said it will soon roll out a software update for the Leap Motion Controller that will improve its motion-tracking capabilities.

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