Geo Week News

January 3, 2013

Leap Motion secures $30m in funding


SAN FRANCISCO – Saying the money will be used for a retail launch of its product in the near future, Leap Motion, maker of a gesture-control system that can track movements to 1/100 of a millimeter, announced today $30 million in new funding from existing investors.

Further, the company announced an OEM agreement with notebook and PC developer ASUS, which will bundle the Leap Motion controller “with select new computers.”

“Leap Motion is poised to fundamentally change human/computer interaction, and this new funding will help us bring our technology to the mass global market,” said Leap Motion CEO Michael Buckwald, in a statement. “With this influx of capital, coupled with the major OEM partnership we also announced today, we’re ready to make 2013 the year of the new interface.”

The Leap Motion controller has a 150-degree field of view, and tracks individual hands and all 10 fingers at 290 frames per second. While the device is not yet commercially available, more than 12,000 free developer units have been shipped to developers around the world, and the Leap Motion controller will ship with an application store where developers can monetize their work and consumers can discover new uses for Leap Motion.

According to Leap Motion, proposed applications range from games, computer-aided design and musical instruments to sign language interpretation and education tools.

“When we first invested in Leap Motion, it was a couple of brilliant minds with a revolutionary technology,” said Peter Bell, general partner at Highland Capital Partners, in a statement. “In just months, it’s blossomed into a fast-growing company on the brink of completely reinventing the way the world interacts with technology. Leap Motion is here to stay.”

Leap Motion advertises itself as 200 times more sensitive than devices like the Kinect, but it is as yet unkown whether the device will be used as a data-capture interface in the same way. SPAR is in the process of arranging an interview with Leap Motion to learn more.

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