Ten fingers, two hands, and one huge leap.

That’s one company’s promise for a completely touchless, motion-only computing experience. On July 22, Leap Motion, which had been discreetly developing motion-sensing technology for many months, launched their first product to the public. The Leap Motion controller tracks your hand’s movement so you can scroll, click, and zoom without ever having to touch your mouse or keyword.

Electronic consumer response to Motion Only Computing

Consumers have restlessly waited for the item’s release since its launch date was pushed back twice from December to May to late July. When the controller was officially released, the company encouraged consumers to “take their #FirstLeap” and share their experiences with the new technology on social media.

With consumers kept in suspense during beta testing, did the product deliver on its potential at the time of launch? Are users enjoying their #FirstLeap by getting the most out of this experimental technology? Using ForSight™, Crimson Hexagon’s social media analytics platform that analyzes user response beyond basic sentiment, we explored how consumers reacted to the controller during the two weeks after the launch.

We identified over 25,000 posts in the #FirstLeap time period. During the product launch, 58% of the discussion about Leap Motion was positive. The largest portion of the conversation was driven by consumers who had not yet used the product but expressed that they are excited to try it. Around one-fifth (19%) of the conversation came from consumers who had tried the controller and were generally pleased with its performance.

Electronic consumers opinion motion computing

One segment of conversation spoke of the device as a plaything, claiming that they were having fun playing with their new high-tech toy. Many specifically mentioned Cut the Rope, a puzzle game bundled with the controller.

Another segment of conversation specifically commented on the innovative nature of the controller. Some stated that it made them feel like part of a sci-fi film, and others highly praised the device and claimed it was the “way of the future.”

Received my Leap Motion virtual controller today! Really innovative device, a part of the future of interactivity! http://t.co/SJ7QbEerOG

— Rich Lewis (@RichLewis007) July 27, 2013

Consumer electronics motion only computing

Despite the array of praise, some 42% of posts spoke negatively about the controller. Like most new technology, the device is not without a few bugs, as 18% of users claimed that they faced technical issues. Others found that it lacked any practical use and were dissatisfied by the amount of app support.

Leap Motion is the technology of the future. Unfortunately, not yet the present. Clunky. Limited apps.

— Mike Brinker (@GreenDotMike) July 27, 2013

So first 30 mins with my @LeapMotion and robust mode has kicked in whilst I’m indoors, Orientation won’t start and cut the rope is jumping.

— Rob Mason (@surekill) July 24, 2013

Around 10% of the conversation criticized Leap Motion’s customer service, stating that the support team failed to respond to questions about the state of their shipment and technical issues.

In terms of the consumer opinion patterns over time, there appears to be no recognizable pattern. While conversation on the day of the launch was almost entirely negative, with 52% of the discussion driven by complaints of the device’s limited uses, the next day is almost purely positive. The following days are characterized by a mix of user sentiment. The level of negative-vs-positive responses, though sporadic, overall leans more towards a positive view of the controller.

Electronic consumers proportion of posts around motion computing

Despite its technical faults, users see the fun and potential in their #FirstLeap towards motion-controlled computing. We will keep an eye on the social media conversation about this bold new technology as consumers and developers continue to experiment with its possibilities.

If you’d like to learn more about using ForSight to assess consumer reactions to your product launch, to request a personal online demonstration.