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Leap Motion controller sees launch delayed until July

Leap Motion today announced that it will delay initial shipments of its 3D motion controller from May until 22 July.

In a note to customers, CEO Michael Buckwald said Leap decided to push back the rollout to have more time to test the device.

"The reality is we very likely could have hit the original ship date. But it wouldn't have left time for comprehensive testing," he wrote.

As a result, Leap will conduct a beta test starting in June with the 12,000 developers who already have the device, as well as a small group of non-developers. They will gain "access to the feature complete product including OS interaction," Buckwald said.

"Ultimately, the only way we felt 100 per cent 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," Buckwald told customers.

Leap introduced the 3-by-1-inch controller in May 2012, and it quickly garnered interest from more than 60,000 global developers. It includes a 150-degree field of view and the ability to track individual hands and all 10 fingers at up to 290 frames per second.

Buckwald said today that hundreds of thousands of people in 150 countries have pre-ordered the Leap. At this point, the company has manufactured more than 600,000 devices. "There is nothing more important to us than getting them devices as quickly as possible," he said.

Customers credit cards won't be charged until the device ships.

The announcement comes on the heels of some high-profile announcements from Leap. Last week, the company said it would team up with Hewlett-Packard to bring its 3D motion control technology to select HP devices. On Monday, Google also added Leap support to Google Earth.