Leap Motion, which made manual tracking systems for augmented reality and virtual headsets, is allegedly being acquired by the haptic UltraHaptics company. The Wall Street Journal reported the news today, saying that Leap Motion, based in San Francisco, had agreed to sell for around $ 30 million.
That's a fraction of Leap Motion's $ 306 million valuation at the top of is exaggerated in 2013. But it's similar to a figure that Apple allegedly discussed during an acquisition that was not completed last year. The Journal reports that UltraHaptics will obtain Leap Motion patents and will hire most of its staff, with the exception of CEO and co-founder Michael Buckwald, who will reportedly leave the company.
UltraHaptics is not a big name like Apple, but it's a pretty obvious fit for Leap Motion. The company uses ultrasound to create the illusion of touch in the air, and Leap Motion's manual controls can complement that to create a controller-free interface with tactile feedback. UltraHaptics already uses Leap Motion technology.
Leap Motion began with the construction of a highly anticipated consumer gesture controller. The device never caught on as a PC peripheral, but it arrived just in time to take advantage of a wave of interest in virtual and augmented reality, offering an early interface system before the launch of ubiquitous portable motion trackers. While Leap Motion began licensing its hardware and software for virtual reality headsets, the company struggled to find a niche and, reportedly, two possible deals with Apple failed. Last year, he showed a design for a low-cost augmented reality headset known as Project North Star.
UltraHaptics focuses on partnering with other companies to add hands-free haptic controls to things like car dashboard controls, kiosks of information, Smart home devices and virtual reality systems.