Late last year, a couple of venture firms sought to invest in LEAP Motion’s gesture control technology by helping developers to build businesses around it with an accelerator. Today, the LEAP Axlr8r is opening for business and announcing the first 10 participating companies in the program.
LEAP Motion has built an $80 hardware device that allows any user to control what’s happening on their computer through an interface that tracks the movement of their hands. It’s had more than 70,000 developers sign up to test out and build apps for the device, but few actual apps have been launched so far.
The LEAP Axlr8r seeks to change that by taking LEAP Motion’s technology to the next level. With backing from Peter Thiel’s Founders Fund, as well as SOSVentures, the firm behind hardware accelerator HAXLR8R, the incubator sought out startups doing interesting things with the next-generation gesture control platform.
Like other incubators, LEAP Axlr8r provides participating companies with a small amount of funding — in this case, $25,000 — and puts them through a three-month program that is designed to refine the products and services they’re seeking to build. Housed near LEAP Motion headquarters in San Francisco, those companies will have access to the engineers who built LEAP Motion technology, as well as a number of mentors who can help with other aspects of the design process.
The whole thing ends in a Demo Day on May 9th. We’ll be tracking their progress and are looking forward to seeing what they release. The first 10 companies participating in the accelerator include:
- MotionSavvy – Giving voice to the deaf and hard-of-hearing through real-time American Sign Language translation
- Diplopia – Restoring depth perception for the 5% of the population affected by amblyopia (lazy eye) through virtual reality computer games using Oculus Rift and Leap Motion
- Sterile Air – Creating the “Operating System” to enable a computerized, sterile surgical OR
- LivePainter – Enabling real-time DJ-ing and VJ-ing as performance art via live web collaboration
- Ten Ton Raygun – Gamifying physical rehabilitation therapy for Stroke and other injuries to make rehab fun, quicker, and measurable
- Mirror Training – Making robots an extension of your own body using Leap Motion and video. A DARPA spinoff revolutionizing robotic arm control with a natural user interface and visual feedback for the user
- GetVu – Creating a next-gen augmented reality platform that mixes computer vision with human vision in a wearable device
- Illuminator 4D – Easily create interactive, holographic environments for retail, and in-home usage
- Crispy Driven Pixels – Reinventing 2D and 3D creative software through a new, natural user interface
- Paralagames – Improving hand-eye coordination through games controlled by the hand