Shalom Life | December 02, 2014

Startup Club: Leap Motion

With a wave of a hand, the company allows you to use your Mac or PC in a whole new way for games, design, and more

By: Caitlin Marceau

Published: November 27th, 2014 in Business » World

Over the past few decades, a growing number of small businesses involved in various industries have popped up around the world meeting the needs of an ever-growing, ever-changing market.

Jewish businessmen and innovators continue to excel throughout these industries, displaying their prowess as creative, forward-thinking entrepreneurs, and tapping into continuously developing markets with 'startup' companies.

In a bid to recognize these decorated entrepreneurs for their ongoing contributions and advancements to these fields, Shalom Life is pleased to present: Startup Club, highlighting the best and the brightest of Jewish entrepreneurs who continue to provide our community with new, influential and innovative ideas that will forever change the way we interact with the world, and with one another.

Follow our lead and we’ll follow yours – send us tips or suggestions via email, comment below or tweet us @ShalomLife, in our mission to celebrate the most visionary of Jewish entrepreneurs.

Check out last week's inductee into the Club here.

Business: Leap Motion

Base Of Operations: San Francisco, California

Entrepreneurs: Michael Buckwald and David Holz

Industry: Technology

Founded: 2010

Gaming has come a long way from the days of 8-bit video systems, and game cartridges that you need to blow into if there’s even a speck of dust. If you asked people back in the 90’s if they thought virtual reality gaming was around the corner, they probably would have laughed you out the door.

Except virtual reality gaming is right around the corner, and it’s being made possible by companies such as Leap Motion.

Founded in 2010 by best friends Michael Buckwald and David Holz, Leap Motion is a company which manufactures and develops computer software that works with specially designed sensors that allow individuals to use their hands and fingers in lieu of a mouse. If you’ve ever wanted to feel like Tony Stark, these are the people that can make it happen. The company raised $1.3 million in seed money from angel investors back in 2011, then raised nearly another $13 million in 2012. Most recently, the company raised roughly $30 million through additional investments.

The company has currently launched a headset mount for the Oculus Rift, a virtual reality headpiece (it looks like a large pair of goggles). Their headset mount would allow the Leap Motion software to capture and map a player’s hands into the game from the perspective of the Oculus Rifts, whereas the normal sensors would capture your hand movements from a lower one.

According to TechCrunch, the mount only costs $20, but the control for the mount starts at $80. Much like the Oculus Rift, the Leap Motion software won’t be released to the general public for a while. It’s currently being used predominantly by developers looking to modify games themselves and would prefer the ease of using your hands as opposed to a mouse.

Leap Motion also launched their own app store, Airspace, which contains over 150 apps. Although most of the applications are developed for 3D modeling and game design, there are an assortment of apps available for download.

In addition to using their technology to help modify and further immerse gamers in the Oculus Rift, or help developers find the perfect sculpting program for their project, Leap Motion is striving to make people’s lives easier. According to Forbes, Leap Motion’s sensors are being used in MotionSavvy’s sign language program, which translates speech into sign language, and vice versa, to make communication between hearing and deaf individuals easier.

With Leap Motion’s innovative sensors and immersive technology, we at Shalom Life can’t wait to see what they come up with next.

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