In anticipation of the release of its first product, the Leap Motion controller, later this year, motion-control software company Leap Motion made two big announcements Thursday: not only did the company announce that it has entered into a partnership with Asus, which will bring its motion controller to more consumers by automatically bundling the controllers with laptops and PCs, but the company also announced that it has raised a new round of funding to help manufacture those controllers.
The partnership with Asus means that the consumer notebook vendor will bundle Leap Motion's 3-D motion-control technology into new high-end notebooks and premium All-in-One PCs later this year. The OEM partnership with Asus is the first of its kind for Leap Motion. The partnership with Asus will potentially bring the Leap Motion controller to millions of consumers.
"As OEMs adopt 3-D motion control technology, they're spurring a rapid evolution in computer interface innovations and helping free the full power and potential of computing for consumers," Leap Motion co-founder and CEO Michael Buckwald said in a statement. "This historic partnership with ASUS is an important step in building global adoption of the new computing paradigm Leap Motion's technology offers. We're delighted that ASUS shares our outlook on the future of human/computer interaction."
In addition to the new partnership, Leap Motion also announced Thursday that it has raised a $30 million Series B from existing investors.
The company had previously raised a $12.75 million Series A round of funding led by Highland Capital Partners in May 2012. In 2011, when the startup was known as OcuSpec, it raised $1.3 million from Andreessen Horowitz, Founders Fund, SOSventures International and a number of angel investors. This new funding brings the total raised to over $44 million.
Leap Motion will use the money to scale manufacturing in advance of its first product, the Leap Motion controller, which will be will be available in early 2013. The controller will be able to track movements to 1/100th of a millimeter with no visible lag time. It will have a 150-degree field of view, and will track individual hands, and all 10 fingers, at 290 frames per second.
Since revealing its technology and controller in May 2012, Leap Motion says that over 40,000 developers have requested its developer units since May 2012. The company has sent over 12,000 free units to developers around the globe.
"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," Buckwald said 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."
San Francisco-based Leap Motion was founded in 2010 by Michael Buckwald and David Holz. It is a motion-control software and hardware company that is developing 3-D motion-control and motion-sensing technology.
The motion controller is currently available for pre-order for $69.99, plus shipping, on Leap Motion's website.
Here is a video about the motion controller and how it works:
Leap Motion was unavailable for comment.