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Thursday, April 25, 2013, 01:39 pm PT (04:39 pm ET)

Leap Motion controller sales pushed back to July due to software issues [u]

Originally slated for launch next month, the Leap Motion controller will now see public release at the end of July, with the company saying a larger and longer beta testing period is needed to ensure a quality product.

Update: Report now includes email from CEO Michael Buckwald to pre-order customers.

Leap Motion


Leap Motion CEO Michael Buckwald said at a press conference on Thursday that his company needs extra time to deliver the best product possible, stressing that there is "nothing catasrophically wrong" with the hardware, reports TechCrunch.

The original May 19 ship-by date could have been met, but Leap Motion decided on a more cautious rollout rather than start sales of an imperfect product. The new release date is July 22.

According to Buckwald, the setback is the "first and only delay there will be."

The executive went on to say that the controller's software, not hardware, needs refinement, and there are already 600,000 units sitting in warehouses, ready to go out to customers. The publication said Leap will use its $45 million in funding to help deal with the software issues.

Although it already has a pool of 12,000 developers writing apps and testing the product, Leap will be inviting an undisclosed number of non-developers to help with the process come June.

Leap Motion has already inked deals with ASUS and HP to incorporate or bundle the device in future products, and it is unclear how the delay will affect those agreements.

Letter to customers:
I wanted to reach out to update you on the status of our ship date. After a lot of consideration, we’ve decided to push back the date and will now be shipping units to pre-order customers on July 22nd.

This is not a decision we take lightly. There are hundreds of thousands of people in over 150 countries who have pre-ordered Leap Motion controllers, some as long as a year ago. These people are part of our community and there is nothing more important to us than getting them devices as quickly as possible.

We’ve made a lot of progress. When we first started taking orders back in May we were twelve (very tired) people in a basement. Now we are eighty (although still tired and possibly still in a basement). We’ve manufactured over six hundred thousand devices and delivered twelve thousand to amazing developers who are building applications that let people do things that just wouldn’t have been possible before.

These developers have given us great feedback that we’ve used to make huge improvements to the stability and polish of the product. We’re really proud of Leap Motion as both a company and a product.

The reality is we very likely could have hit the original ship date. But it wouldn’t have left time for comprehensive testing. This will come in the form of a beta test that will start in June. We will give the 12k developers who currently have Leap Motion controllers access to the feature complete product including OS interaction (today developers only have access to the SDK). We will also invite some people who are not developers to join the beta test.

Ultimately, the only way we felt 100% confident we could deliver a truly magical product that would do justice to this new form of interaction, was to push the date so we would have more time for a larger, more diverse beta test.

I really appreciate your patience. I know it’s been a long wait. Everyone at Leap Motion is working tirelessly to make sure that the wait is worth it. Thanks so much for your help and support.

David and I will be participating in an open video Q&A using Google Hangout tomorrow at 11:30am Pacific time. To join our hangout, please visit our Google+ page. If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to contact our support team at support@leapmotion.com or my personal email ([redacted]). As always, we will not charge pre-order customer’s credit cards until the devices have actually shipped.

Thanks again.

Michael Buckwald