SXSW: A ‘Leap’ in PC control, more weekend highlights

Here’s a look back at some of the highlights of SXSW’s opening weekend.

PC controls ‘Leap’ forward. A future without a keyboard and mouse ruling our personal computers seems a lot closer than we realize.

One of the first companies to push the movement is Leap Motion, which USA TODAY’s Ed Baig got his hands on[1] during SXSW.

What is Leap Motion? It’s a small sensor that sits in front of a PC and Mac, and lets you control a computer with simple hand gestures. Demos of the sensor included sculpting virtual clay models, playing harps and slicing up watermelons and bananas in Fruit Ninja. Whether it’s practical for, say, navigating a Web browser or performing other basic tasks remains to be seen.

The device launches this May for $79.99.

Tesla chief soaks up Texas. Elon Musk is a busy man. When he’s not running Tesla Motors, creator of sleek electric vehicles, he serves as CEO of SpaceX and chairman of energy company SolarCity. Told you he was busy.

USA TODAY’s Jon Swartz caught up with Musk at SXSW[2] to discuss his multiple endeavors. Here are the three biggest things we learned:

— Texas might be the next site for a SpaceX rocket launch. Musk says it could happen within two years.

— On that controversial New York Times review of the Tesla S, which questioned the vehicle’s durability: “It was a low-grade ethics violation that was not in good faith.”

— He might slow down, but only a little. “I want to have more fun this year.”

Marvel expands its empire. They’re at the top of the comics scene, and have successfully branched out to toys, apparel, television and movies. Now, Marvel adds to its repertoire with original video programming.

USA TODAY’s Mike Snider has the latest on Marvel’s fresh offerings[3], including Earth’s Mightiest Show, a weekly program focused on all things related to the house of Spider-Man, the Avengers, the X-Men and more.

The comics publisher also plans to create reality-TV style videos and a documentary, as well as beef up its digital comics library. As Stan Lee would say, “Excelsior!”

More from SXSW:

Banjo strumming a new tune in social media[4]

SXSW taking on more characteristics of CES[5]

Takes app turns photos into video[6]

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