Leap Motion has struck a deal with Hewlett-Packard to bundle and embed its 3D motion control technology in some of the computer giant's devices.
The San Francisco startup's gesture-control system measures users' movements to an accuracy of a hundredth of a millimeter. It plans to release the technology in mid-May, charging $80 for a small thumb drive-size device that plugs into a computer's USB port.
Already, Leap Motion had cemented deals to bundle its controller with Asus PCs, and to sell it in Best Buy stores and at Bestbuy.com, as well as on its own Web site. But now, it also will have access to HP's substantial brick-and-mortar and online distribution channels, said Leap Motion COO Andy Miller.
Terms of the new deal were not disclosed, nor were the list of HP devices that would be part of the arrangement. But Miller explained that the HP deal -- Leap Motion's first embedding pact -- demonstrates that the form factor of the company's technology can be any size. "Whether you're talking about embedding into a smartphone or a PC," Miller said, "it's pretty flexible."
Leap Motion's technology will be bundled with select HP devices starting this summer, while the technology will start to come embedded in HP devices at some point soon after that, Miller said.
The HP devices that are part of the deal will also come pre-loaded with Leap Motion's app store, Airspace. The startup has made its technology available to thousands of developers, and has made working hand in hand with the development community a key part of its growth strategy. That makes sense given that Miller is a former Apple senior vice president who reported directly to Steve Jobs.
Developers should be happy with the HP deal, Miller said, because there will instantly be a significant market for their work.