News: 'Hyper Reality' Visionary Keiichi Matsuda Parts Ways with Leap Motion

'Hyper Reality' Visionary Keiichi Matsuda Parts Ways with Leap Motion

After a little more than a year at motion tracking technology maker Leap Motion, Keiichi Matsuda has resigned his position as vice president of design and global creative director, the company announced on Wednesday.

A designer and filmmaker (and NR30 member), Matsuda is perhaps best known for his video, titled Hyper-Reality, which depicts a future of augmented reality overkill.

Image by Keiichi Matsuda/Twitter

"I'm dedicating my life to exploring the relationship between people and technology. This is a calling I share with Leap Motion, who are not only exploring it, but actively working to define it," said Matsuda in a statement.

"I've been very fortunate to work with such an immensely talented team, on such an important and unexplored area of design. Together we have broken new ground, and sneaked some heart-stopping glimpses into the future. I'm very grateful for everyone at Leap for their hard work, passion and dedication. We intend to maintain a close relationship, as we work towards our common goal."

Leap Motion hired Matsuda to run the company's design research studio in London. The facility housed staff focused on research on interaction design and user experience. For example, earlier this year, Matsuda shared a demo of a low-latency hand tracking interaction in an AR headset. The headset in the demo appeared to be a Meta 2 but, in retrospect, it may have been an early prototype of the company's Project North Star open-source headset design.

Image by Keiichi Matsuda/Twitter

"We have the great pleasure of working with some of the greatest minds to support the continued development of our unparallelled hand tracking and leadership in interaction design and user experience," said Michael Buckwald, CEO and Co-Founder of Leap Motion. "We are thankful for Keiichi's contributions, which are felt throughout the organization, and look forward to continued collaboration in the future."

After closing a $50 million Series C funding round and hiring Matsuda in 2017, Leap Motion faced some stumbles in 2018. In March, the company was hit with a patent infringement lawsuit for the very motion tracking technology upon which it was built. More recently, the company moved its San Francisco offices in a cost-cutting measure.

Meanwhile, Matsuda may become a hot commodity in an environment in which companies like Apple, Google, Facebook, Snapchat, Samsung, and Microsoft are aggressively recruiting AR talent for software and hardware products, as well as investing in startups that push AR technology forward.

Whether he decides to join another AR-focused company or hang his own shingle, it's unlikely that a professional with Matsuda's standing in the industry stays quiet for long.

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Cover image via Keiichi Matsuda

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