January 17, 2013
High-Tech Motion Sensor Maker Teams Up With Best Buy
redOrbit Staff & Wire Reports - Your Universe Online
The technology startup Leap Motion announced on Wednesday that it has partnered with Best Buy as its exclusive retail sales channel for the spring launch of its new motion controller.
“Finding a major retail partner for our North American launch was a critical component to our strategy, and Best Buy was the obvious choice,” said Leap Motion President and COO Andy Miller in a statement.
“Best Buy´s market leadership and extensive store distribution network, combined with the product floor space and dedicated marketing promotional plans, represents an incredible opportunity to bring the Leap Motion controller to a massive consumer audience.”
The motion-sensing technology startup´s tiny motion controller will be able to track movements up to 1/100th of a millimeter with no perceivable lag time. The 3-inch long, 1-inch wide, half-inch thick device has a 150-degree field of view and tracks individual hands and all 10 fingers at up to 290 frames per second.
The controller connects to Windows PCs or Macs through a USB connection and detects 3D motion within a space of 8 cubic feet when placed on a desk. Its primary use will be as a controller for apps, such as gaming, that require a full range of motion.
The devices will be available for pre-order from Best Buy stores in the U.S. and through BestBuy.com beginning in February and will later hit Europe and other markets through partners not yet announced, the company said.
Leap is also accepting pre-orders directly through its own website at a price of $69.99, and will begin shipping these orders later this quarter.
Leap emerged from stealth mode and unveiled its breakthrough controller last May, earning high praise from the thousands of developers who received free units to begin building the applications store that will launch when the controller ships.
Leap stated that more than 40,000 developers worldwide have requested to work with the company.
“There´s going to be a huge audience for developers here. Developers have a choice about where they spend their time and money, and we´re trying to make a strong case for why they should do it at Leap,” Miller told TechCrunch.
Leap said it would collaborate with Best Buy to create in-store end-cap displays that feature the controller with games and apps that highlight the device´s capabilities.
"Consumers expect Best Buy to have the latest connected technology and the Leap Motion Controller is a great example," said Jason Bonfig, merchant vice president for computing at Best Buy.
“We are excited to bring this innovative product exclusively to our customers.”
Leap´s partnership with Best Buy is a limited time exclusive, and Miller said Leap plans to offer its controller through additional retailers in the future.