Ultraleap, a leading company focused on hand-tracking interfaces, this week announced it has secured a £60 million (~$82 million) Series D investment, with the goal of expanding its hand-tracking and mid-air haptic tech in the XR space and beyond.

Formerly known as Ultrahaptics, Ultraleap was formed after the UK-based haptics company acquired leading hand-tracking company Leap Motion back in 2019. The new name clearly defined the merger’s unique combination of mid-air ultrasonic haptics now underpinned by some of the best hand-tracking tech in the industry.

This week Ultraleap announced it has raised a £60 million (~$82 million) Series D investment with participation from new investors Tencent, British Patient Capital, and CMB International, alongside existing investors Mayfair Equity Partners and IP Group plc.

“With this investment round, Ultraleap will continue to bring Gemini to different operating systems and increase their investment in tooling to enable developers to build more applications using the best interface—your hands. Ultraleap will also continue to invest in R&D to drive their machine-learning-based hand tracking even further ahead,” the company said in its investment announcement.

Ultraleap is betting that hand-tracking will be the primary input for XR and the metaverse. Last month the company released its latest revision.

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While the company has been trying to get its tech into the XR space for many years now, it has yet to find significant traction. Though Ultraleap hand-tracking can be found on a few headsets like those from Varjo and Pimax, leading devices implementing hand-tracking—like Quest 2, HoloLens, and Magic Leap—are using their own solutions, as far as we know.

However, with a growing number of XR devices on the market and the steady march toward consumer-friendly AR glasses, the company seems poised to find the right fit eventually.

Ultraleap is also looking to find a home for its tech outside of the XR realm. The company has long been angling its tech in the automotive space as an in-car interface, as well as the out-of-home space in areas like exhibits, marketing installations, and touchless self-service kiosks.

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Ben is the world's most senior professional analyst solely dedicated to the XR industry, having founded Road to VR in 2011—a year before the Oculus Kickstarter sparked a resurgence that led to the modern XR landscape. He has authored more than 3,000 articles chronicling the evolution of the XR industry over more than a decade. With that unique perspective, Ben has been consistently recognized as one of the most influential voices in XR, giving keynotes and joining panel and podcast discussions at key industry events. He is a self-described "journalist and analyst, not evangelist."
  • Ad

    Worth mentioning: https://www.ultraleap.com/company/news/press-release/qualcomm-snapdragon-xr2/

    Leap Motion is the best hand tracking system right now. The only issue that the other solutions are not using the OpenXR extension while Leap is. Which is pretty BS because it means that Quest software that is openXR isn’t using the OpenXR hand tracking extension and leap is locked out. The Lynx will have leap motion tracking built in and others will probably follow. Honestly HTC should give up on theirs in favor of leap’s.

    • silvaring

      I wonder if there are severe limitations in leap motions tech that prevent it from working well with high speed sensors, isn’t the leap motion infrared sensor capped at like 60hz? (just a wild guess, I don’t know how fast it is)… if so not going to be quick enough for all those Bruce Lee wannabe’s in VR though!

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        It’s 100hz.

        • silvaring

          Ah ok… I thought the infrared might have been quicker. I wonder if the long term goal here is a bunch of small IR emmittters / lidar like sensors to quickly track hands, or its going to be a different tech like electro magnets (pico neo). I don’t know beyond the general labels here but I am very very curious what the solution to fast hand tracking will be, a mix of high speed RGB cameras mixed with infrared perhaps?

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            I think infrared works better than RGB. Actually my leap from 2012 is 100hz, the new ones and specific integrations may be more. I don’t think speed of the tracking is the real issue with hand tracking. It’s just that when it’s not faultless you need to be really deliberate.

    • XRC

      Got the free HTC hand tracking software working well on index using the cameras. Some have fitted Leap Motion into the Frunk for more precise input

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        I tried it in Neos, it’s pretty poor.

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  • I tried the automotive solution last week in Ultraleap’s offices… it’s quite interesting

  • Ragbone

    But how much wood would a wood chuck chuck?