The gesture recognition specialist Ultraleap (created in 2019 when Ultrahaptics acquired Leap Motion), announced on November 17, 2021 a series D fundraising of 60 million pounds (71.4 million euros). New investors include Tencent, British Patient Capital and CMB International, which join existing shareholders Mayfair Equity Partners and IP Group.
The company intends to use this new capital for its scaling up and the design of solutions for the new generation of IT platforms using virtual and augmented reality. The concept of metavers being fashionable, she says she wants to become its main interface. It also wants to accelerate its developments for gesture interfaces in the automotive sector. In particular, its technologies were used in a PSA concept car.
As a reminder, Ultraleap is best known for its hand movement tracking platform used in mixed reality headsets such as the Varjo XR-3 or the Lynx-R1. It relies on a dedicated sensor and makes an SDK available to third-party developers. It is one of the most reliable solutions on the market, but has the disadvantage of requiring this additional sensor where the competition (for example Clay AIR, now owned by Qualcomm) uses standard cameras.
Metavers, Covid-19: an opportunity for contactless interfaces
“For Ultraleap, this new era is not limited to virtual reality headsets. Like the internet, this is a reality with which we will interact in all areas of our lives: at home, in the office, in the car, in public space. Our goal, with this D-series, is to accelerate the transition to the primary interface – our hands – because no one imagines a metaver with physical interfaces, buttons or touchscreens,” explains Ultraleap Managing director Tom Carter in a statement.
The company sees in the Covid-19 pandemic an opportunity for its tactile feedback contactless interfaces, which use ultrasound to give the illusion of touch. Its technology is for example used in control terminals at KFC, to replace touch screens.