Leap Motion sold to UltraHaptics for a handful of peanuts

Jumping movementa company that for years promised to revolutionize the PC peripherals market was sold, at a fraction of its value, to B2B UltraHaptic. Leap Motion's journey was typical of a « start-up-that-didn't-make it, » but news of the merger is particularly disappointing because of the hype the company had generated around it in her 9 years to exist. But let's briefly see how we got here.

The merger of Leap Motion and UltraHaptics

Leap Motion began to gain attention in 2011when his name was still OcuSpecsucceed in collecting $1.3 million in financing. At the time, the company's goal was to create a device capable of detecting hand movements and gestures, and capable of completely replacing mouse and keyboard as input method. Obviously, the goal was also to make this device economic And simple to use, so as not to be limited to a simple niche of enthusiasts.

The first demonstrations and prototypes generated a lot of enthusiasm, not so much for the hardware, but for the software. Indeed, if the material used was “simple” infrared cameras, the program was able to model and understand hand movements, recognizing gestures with extreme precision. Investors were also convinced and the company was funded for 12.8 million In the 2012 and for 30 million In the 2013.

The problems started with the public launch in 2014. They sold out 500,000 devices, but lack of developer support and an unrefined control system led to a crisis in the company. Many employees were left at home, and Leap Motion attempted to reinvent itself by focusing on virtual reality and on the augmented reality.

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Thanks to this change in direction, the company was able to obtain other 50 millions In the 2017but despite attempts to build their own helmet ARthe losses proved too great to continue.

And this is how we come to the present day: after an unofficial attempt to Apple to buy Leap Motion technology, it was the young company that finally got its hands on it B2B UltraHaptic. The sale price ? Alone 30 million, or a tenth of the company's last valuation. Still within the framework of the sale, the CEO Michael Buckwald he will no longer hold this position after the transition.

It remains to be seen what the fate of this company will be, but the disappointment of those who had bet, even if only emotionally, on Leap Motion is real and justified. The company's website reassures its consumers that the merger with UltraHaptics won't change anything for current users, but it's unlikely we'll see new consumer devices in the future.