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This article was published on January 9, 2014

    Leap Motion brings its 3D gesture controller to Japan through new SoftBank partnership

    Leap Motion brings its 3D gesture controller to Japan through new SoftBank partnership
    Ken Yeung
    Story by

    Ken Yeung

    Ken Yeung is a reporter for The Next Web based in San Francisco, CA. He carries around a big camera & likes to write about tech, startup Ken Yeung is a reporter for The Next Web based in San Francisco, CA. He carries around a big camera & likes to write about tech, startups, parties, and interesting people. Follow him on Twitter, on Facebook, and Google+.

    Leap Motion is branching out into new markets today. The smart 3D gesture control hardware and software company has formed a partnership with BB Softservice Corp., a SoftBank group company. This deal will see Leap Motion’s Controller distributed exclusively through BB Softservice and gives Leap Motion an incredible opportunity in one of its key markets.

    Specifically, SoftService BB will distribute to its authorized network of retailers and online resellers throughout Japan and provide translated materials. For this occasion, Leap Motion said that it has created a special Japanese localized version of its software that will “initially” be sold through Amazon Japan. Additional retailers will be added in 2014.

    It turns out that Japan generates the third most Web sales of the Leap Motion Controller along with the number of downloads of its SDK. But unfortunately, until today, the physical Controller wasn’t available in Japanese stores.

    Besides having a retail store to house its product, the partnership gives Leap Motion an opportunity to leverage BB Softservice’s accessibility in bringing Leap Motion’s technology into the enterprise. Beyond this, Leap Motion is hoping that the agreement will see it build better relationships with OEMs in the country across PC, mobile, and gaming market segments.

    If you’re not familiar with Leap Motion, it’s a new way to interact with your computer using in-air movements of your hands and fingers (think Minority Report).  The controller is a small USB device that you plug into a computer and there are apps you can install to fully utilize the technology.

    In December, company CEO Michael Buckwald said that Leap Motion will be bringing its technology to tablets and smartphones probably around Q3 or Q4 of 2014. It already has a deal with HP where the controller is embedded into the Envy 17 notebook.