NY Times to release gesture-controlled news app

The New York Times plans to release a Top News app for Leap Motion, the soon-to-be released app that will allow users to interact with computers using gestures, TechCrunch reported last week.
Through this app, the Times’ users will be able to browse articles by moving their hands left or right with headlines and images being presented in a card format. If the user finds an article interesting, the user can tap on the card and read the full article. You can also scroll through the article by making a circular motion and you can shake your hand to return to the Top News menu. This app currently is not integrated with the newspaper’s paywall system, and will only include top stories.

The Times will be the only branded news app available to Leap Motion users at the time of the product’s launch. The lightweight app features a continuously updated Top News feed where articles appear in card format. Each card displays the article headline, summary and the primary corresponding image, according to the press release. The app also features advertising capabilities that allow brands to connect with New York Times readers using motion-controlled ad units embedded as cards between articles.

“Leap Motion’s groundbreaking touch-free technology allows users to navigate and explore New York Times content in a brand new way,” said Denise Warren, executive vice president, Digital Products and Services Group, The New York Times. “This preliminary app is a first step. We look forward to exploring other ways to deliver our world-class journalism to the growing Leap Motion customer base as we continue this ongoing collaboration.”

This app has been developed by The New York Times’ Idea lab, a division for experimentation with the company’s advertising group. By releasing this app, Paul Smurl, The Times’ general manager of core digital products said it aims “to appeal to those early adopter kinds of tech-focused folks that are obviously very influential and can make or break a trend.” The company meanwhile also eyes commercial motives and potential, though not at the onset. This app will be available at Leap Motion’s Airspace store on July 22, the day the controller is expected to launch, according to a report by TechCrunch.

The Leap Motion Controller works with OSX 10.7 and 10.8, and Windows 7 and 8, laptops and desktops. The New York Times application will be free to download and will not require a digital subscription for access to content at launch.

By: Savita V Jayaram
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