Leap Motion puts Google Earth at your fingertips

Google Earth 7.1 gets updated to support Leap Motion

Google Earth using Leap Motion

Leap Motion and the latest Google Earth update provide a new way to appreciate planet Earth on Earth Day by allowing you to hold the whole world in your hands and spin it on its virtual axis.

Google Earth 7.1, released today, natively supports Leap Motion gesture controls for moving about the popular mapping software with Minority Report-like hand movements.

A new video from the company illustrates that there's no need to touch a mouse, keyboard, or screen to bounce the globe around or fly under the Golden Gate Bridge with Leap Motion.

"Our mission at Leap Motion is to provide a fundamentally better computing experience that frees people to create and explore the digital world in new ways," said cofounder and CEO Michael Buckwald to TechRadar through a spokesperson.

"Google Earth combined with Leap Motion's 3-D, touch-free technology feels so incredibly immersive – people feel connected to the world in a new and compelling way."

Leap Motion release date

The ability to wade your way through Google Earth 7.1 in dependent upon the fact that you own Leap Motion USB hardware.

"Today, our community of more than 10,000 developers around the world are the first people able to experience Google Earth through Leap Motion," said Buckwald.

"When we ship soon, we're excited to see what new explorations people leap into."

So not everyone can experience Leap Motion on Earth Day, as pre-orders are still being taken up until the device's official May 13 release date.

Leap Motion price

The power to soar around Earth like Superman does come at a price, and it's different for the U.S., U.K., and Australia.

Leap Motion has set the U.S. price at $79.99, and with an $8.99 shipping fee it comes out to a grand total of $88.98.

The total price of a Leap Motion device is slightly more expensive; in U.K. it's £71 and in Australia it's AUD$92.

With Google Earth 7.1, Leap Motion finally gives everyone more than just games and sketching to look forward to, making its "the future is within reach" slogan seem ready for May 13.