Andy Miller on Apple, Leap Motion as the New Apple, & Sacramento Kings Deal
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device with hand motions in the air, rather than clicking a mouse or swiping the screen. “The things you can do in 3D space are pretty cool,” he says. “You’ll see us in smartphones and tablets, in MRI machines, robotic surgery, and in deals in automotive” and defense industries.
(And what’s wrong with touchscreens? They’re expensive and they break, he says.)
Leap Motion is certainly a big technology bet. The 85-person company has raised about $44 million since its founding in 2010. (The Boston area’s Bill Warner, an Xconomist, was its first investor). Leap’s initial product is due out in July, with beta trials starting in June. Interestingly, the company thinks of itself as primarily a software company, though there’s hardware involved in its controller interface. Leap plans to roll out an app store called Airspace, which will include new kinds of software for activities like gaming, music, art, design, and education.
“Leap is like a baby Apple, from the hardware to the software to our app store,” Miller says. “From the look and feel of the product to its simplicity, message, and design.” On the app side, he says, “we’ll be more open than Apple and more curated than Android.”
The biggest lesson Miller brings from Apple and his time with Jobs? “The attention to detail. Sweating the last 2, 3, 4, 5 percent,” he says. “And you can’t underestimate Apple’s ability to simplify everything for consumers and employees.”
What’s more, he says, Leap Motion is trying to “focus on just a few things” and get them absolutely right. “That’s what Apple does. They’re the biggest company in world and they only have five or six product lines,” he says.
That’s all good, and we shall see about Leap Motion. But back to basketball for a second. What will happen to his sports allegiances when the Celtics play the Kings?