News: UK-Based Ultrahaptics Acquires Leap Motion for $30 Million

UK-Based Ultrahaptics Acquires Leap Motion for $30 Million

The long and somewhat tumultuous journey of Leap Motion has come to an end, thanks to another startup.

While most of the augmented reality industry was knee-deep in technical discussions about the future AR and new product reveals, Ultrahaptics quietly acquired Leap Motion on Wednesday.

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"Together, Ultrahaptics and Leap Motion products have the opportunity to be at the global epicentre of spatial interaction. Taking a holistic view of this exciting market, not only can we continue to create two hugely significant technologies, but we can max out the potential of combining them — proving that one plus one really can make three," said Ultrahaptics' CEO, Steve Cliffe, in a statement.

"With this deal, we'll combine some of the best minds in human-computer interaction. We will be better placed to leverage our customer contacts and expand the vertical stack of immersive technologies, just as the applications which benefit from our collective strengths are moving into the mainstream."

According to the Wall Street Journal, Ultrahaptics acquired Leap Motion for $30 million.

For those unfamiliar with Ultrahaptics, the UK-based company uses ultrasound to deliver haptic feedback when a user interacts with virtual interfaces and surfaces. I had a chance to try the technology out several years ago and, although it's still a developing dynamic in terms of full haptic feedback, it's quite effective.

The idea of mixing Leap Motion's virtual interface framework with Ultrahaptics in one company should be exciting to anyone who has followed these companies for the past few years.

Founded in 2010, the small team at Leap Motion has struggled to find mainstream breakout success but has remained a favorite of developers working in the VR and AR space. Most recently, the company launched Project North Star, an open source project designed to allow anyone to build an AR headset that can integrate with Leap Motion's technology.

It's unclear whether this acquisition will change the company's involvement with the project, but given Leap Motion's previous failed attempt to seal an acquisition deal with Apple, this outcome is likely a welcome development.

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Cover image via Leap Motion

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