Ultraleap is laying off staff and selling its hand tracking technology

Ultraleap is laying off staff and selling its hand tracking technology
Ultraleap, the company behind the Leap Motion 2 hand tracking controller, is undergoing a massive restructuring. Not only is the company laying off half of its staff, it’s also planning to sell its impressive hand tracking technology. Ultraleap will retain its haptics projects and make a new company centered around them. This new company will be owned by the existing shareholders of Ultraleap.

These are big changes, and I didn’t see them coming at all. Just a short while ago, Ultraleap launched its newest hand tracking tech: Hyperion. The DPVR E4 Arc headset was also released quite recently, and it’s powered by Ultraleap’s hand tracking as well. There were, at least to me, no indications that Ultraleap was planning such major revisions.

The company was known for its stellar innovations in the hand tracking space. To learn that it’s selling that tech is shocking to me. But if it’s making an entirely new company around its haptics research, it might have had a breakthrough in that.

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This was just seven months ago. Like I said, no indications. | Video credit — Ultraleap

So, what are these haptics Ultraleap has been working on? This tech is actually something the company was known for even before its rebranding to Ultraleap. The concept aims to provide tactile feedback to a user’s hands and fingers while midair. Think interacting with Mixed Reality elements in the air and actually feeling the touch on your fingertips.

That’s quite impressive, in my opinion, and definitely something that I would love to see implemented en masse in XR (Extended Reality) devices. Ultraleap hasn’t confirmed the business restructuring just yet, but the layoffs are definitely happening.

— Ultraleap spokesperson, Sky News, June 2024

With so many jobs lost, I do hope something good comes out of this eventually. Like I said above, I’d love to see Ultraleap’s haptics technology implemented into modern consumer VR headsets. And if nothing else, the industry now has a ton of really talented individuals ready to put their skills to good use.

Fingers crossed you guys land new jobs soon.
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