Leap Motion Gesture-Based Controller to Debut Q1 2013
Leap Motion recently announced that it has raised $30 million in Series B funding and also entered into a partnership with Asus, giving the manufacturer a major distribution channel once the company’s motion sensing controller is ready to be released in the market. Previously, former Apple iAd Chief Andy Miller became the president and COO of Leap and many people have been looking to the final product to be released since the idea’s inception. As of right now, the Asus partnership is just one of a number of deals being worked on for launch according to TechCrunch
. Asus is in the middle of working to bundle the motion controller with select all-in-one PCs and high-end laptops.
According to Leap Motion co-founder and CEO Michael Buckwald, an integral part of the company’s early distribution strategy involves bundling the controller with existing products or perhaps even integrating it in newer devices. Those who are backing up the startup seem to be in favor of the plan as a second round of funding led by venture capital firm Founders Fund recently brought in $30 million. This number is on top of the already existing funds of $12.75 million which were garnered with a Series A round led by Highland Capital, the firm which Miller became a general partner after leaving Apple in 2011.
Miller stated that some of the developers are currently adding the Leap Motion gesture technology into existing software while others are building apps from scratch tailored to the 3D motion technology. According to Miller “As [the Leap Motion] app store matures, we’ll start to see the ratio shift towards apps that are built from the ground up, that are created and designed with this in mind.” Roughly 12,000 developer units have already been shipped out to more than 40,000 developers who signed on to help create Leap Motion applications. As for the device, Leap says it will enable users to create 8 cubic feet of “3D interaction space” in front of Macs or PCs when it ships later this quarter.
The following video on the company YouTube page shows a user interacting with on-screen content with just hand and finger movements with the applications in the demo ranging from web pages, to 3D modeling applications, to videogames. The Leap Motion controller has been in development for over four years and is expected to ship sometime in the first quarter of 2013. Those of you who are interested can pre-order it at the company’s website with a starting price of $69.99.