Remember the innovative Leap gesture-control device that aims to replace mice and trackpads for Macs and PCs? Following an announcement earlier this year that the product would finally launch on May 13 (and as a Best Buy exclusive on May 19), Leap Motion CEO Michael Buckwald has announced that the launch has now been delayed until July 22 to allow time for additional testing.
The additional testing is intended to improve the software that communicates with the device to improve the user experience. As Buckwald noted in his letter to customers who pre-ordered the device, the delay reflects the company’s desire to absolutely perfect the device before shpping to consumers – an Apple-like ideal rarely seen in the consumer electronics world.
While it will be frustrating for many users to have to wait two more months to get their pre-ordered devices, it’s better for Leap to do this right rather than release a product that isn’t ideal for their customers. The full text of the letter sent to customers can be seen below. For more details, visit the Leap Motion website. Interestingly, the pre-order page still lists the ship date as May 13.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or my personal email (email@example.com). As always, we will not charge pre-order customer’s credit cards until the devices have actually shipped.Thanks again.Michael Buckwald