Leap Motion gets $30 million funding for new motion sensor controller technology

The technology you probably have seen in Steven Speilberg’s 2002 movie Minority Report has been fully realized by Leap Motion’s hand-motion controller. The San Francisco-based startup company recently received $30 million funding for the technology and has partnered with Taiwanese manufacturer Asustek Computer in an agreement that computers bundled with motion sensors would be released later this year. The first batch of controllers, however, will start selling by March.

Courtesy of Leap Motion, via Bloomberg
Courtesy of Leap Motion, via Bloomberg

This isn’t the first time people have seen motion sensors come into play because apparently, such technology has long been used in Microsoft’s Kinect. Leap Motion, however, said its product is not as big (in size) as existing motion sensors in the market today. It comes with two small sensitive cameras enclosed in casing not more than the size of a cigarette lighter, which would be set atop a computer desk.

The sensors are sensitive enough to detect 10 fingers and filter motions created by each one of them to the hundredth of a millimeter. The controller will be marketed with $70 price tag.

Leap Motion’s controller has lured many investors including Highland Capital Partners and Founders Fund aside from the already mentioned Asustek Computer. The idea of controlling a computer with hands started long ago and people were mesmerized by it even more when Steven Speilberg illustrated it almost realistically through its movie starred by Tom Cruise. The evolution of computer and mobile technologies paved a way for three-dimensional controls and the company is honest enough to acknowledge that.

With Asustek Computer agreeing with Leap Motion to bundle the controllers with some of its computers, the next thing we may be seeing are laptops with built-in motion sensors instead of mere cameras. The fact that the company is open to the idea to license its technologies is the key to have this sensor be put on other devices other than computers. One of the possibilities is that Smart TV manufacturers like Samsung and LG might use Leap Motion’s technology to make things even better in their products.

Leap Motion is still in the process of marketing its controllers as well as attracting even more developers to build more apps for it. Chief Executive Officer Michael Buckwald also shared about the company’s desire to invade tablet and car markets with its technology.

[source: Bloomberg]