Start-up Leap Motion, which developed a new wireless controller that allows smart platforms to read motions, said it will bundle its software with products from Taiwan’s Asustek Computer (TPE:2317) later this year. Asustek has been one of the most aggressive players in the small-form computing and mobile sectors.
The San Francisco-based company also said it had received an additional $30 million in venture capital from Highland Partners, seven months after it raised its initial $12.75 million in venture capital from Highland, Andreessen Horowitz and Founders Fund, as well as $1.8 million more from three angel investors.
“We’re ready to make 2013 the year of the new interface,” said Leap Motion CEO Michael Buckwald, 25, who-founded the company, originally dubbed OcuSpec, in 2010. Later this year, Asustek intends design Leap Motion’s 3-D motion control technology into advanced notebooks and a premium All-in-One PC.
The technology “will truly enhance the experience our customers have,” said Albert Wu, senior director of Asustek’s desktop division.
Models, prices and availability dates weren’t disclosed. Asustek plans to have a large display at the International Consumer Electronics Show next week in Las Vegas.
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The relation further extends what UBS analyst Steven Milunovich dubs “multi-sided platforms” that enable different kinds of interactions with consumers.
Adding motion control to a small ultra-light platform should enable the new systems to be used for more than computing, with applications from games to medical technologies. Leap Motion said that it’s already sent out 12,000 free units to as many as 40,000 software developers for application designs.
Holding one of Leap Motion’s iPod-sized devices in one hand allows consumers to use motions to control images on a surface, rather than actually touching the device. The company suggests initial uses could be for creating artwork, signing an electronic document, working with 3-D modeling software and letting a surgeon control onscreen medical data.
But a major use could also be in consumer electronics, where they could turbocharge controllers for electronic games.
In mid-2012, the company recruited Andy Miller, former CEO of Quattro Wireless, a mobile advertising company acquired by Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) in 2009, as president and COO. Miller had worked before at Apple as a VP for mobile advertising and head of the iAd division.
Shares of Asustek fell 2 percent to 319.50 new Taiwan dollars (US $11.02) in Friday trading.