Ultraleap Reportedly Plans To Sell Its Leap Motion Hand Tracking Group Amid Major Layoffs

The startups formerly known as Ultrahaptics and Leap Motion appear to be heading in separate directions again after 5 years together ended in significant layoffs.

A Sky News report cites “sources” as saying the company is halving its workforce and plans to “seek a buyer for its hand-tracking business.” Developer Max Thomas posted on X that he was looking for work after “the US team at Ultraleap was laid off”.

An Ultraleap spokesperson provided the following statement to Sky News:

“Since the company was established in 2019, Ultraleap has gained international recognition as the leading innovator in mid-air haptic and hand tracking technologies.

During this period, customer needs and behaviours have continually evolved and we need to adapt our strategy to reflect these changes.

After much consideration, we have made the difficult decision to reshape some of our divisions and reduce the size of our team.

This decision has not been taken lightly, but it is necessary for us to adapt our business to better serve our market and our customers.

We deeply appreciate the hard work and dedication of everyone who has contributed to building Ultraleap.”

We’ve reached out to Ultraleap to try and get a figure for exactly how many people have been let go and will update this article if we receive more information.

In May 2019, Ultrahaptics bought Leap Motion to merge their complementary ideas – a haptic effect produced through ultrasound with industry-leading hand tracking. It is June 2024 now and Apple Vision Pro and Meta Quest push two ends of the standalone VR headset market with hand tracking that doesn’t use Leap Motion. And while few have ever felt the ultrasound haptic effect of Ultrahaptics, Leap Motion’s hand tracking is used by many smaller manufacturers to offer a robust hand-tracked user interface without another platform’s overhead.

Ultraleap Hyperion Makes The Best Hand Tracking Better
Ultraleap released Hyperion, the latest version of its industry-leading hand tracking software.

Just last week, Ultraleap had a booth at Augmented World Expo in Long Beach where representatives demonstrated Meta’s Ray-Ban glasses with an added sensor intended for all-day gesture recognition. As members of the Khronos Group responsible for OpenXR, Ultraleap also helped shape the implementation of hand tracking support in the industry standard that allows applications built with it to be “run on any compliant device.”