“The reason for the decision is to leave more room for testing,” Buckwald said. “It’s become clear that we need a larger beta test.”
The company has already begun sending notifications about the delay to users who have pre-ordered the device. Leap Motion will not charge users’ credit cards for the device until it ships, the company said.
Buckwald said that there’s no major problem with the device or its software, but that Leap Motion simply wants to “polish” it more before shipping to consumers. While the timeline has been set back, he said, he believes that Leap could have met the original ship date but with a product wasn’t as stable or smooth as the company would like.
“There’s nothing catastrophically wrong. We’re very proud of the product,” Buckwald said.
The decision to delay will give the company the opportunity to reach a larger pool of early testers, he said.
Leap Motion has already shipped devices to 12,000 of the more than 60,000 developers who applied to its beta program. But the company also wants to test the product with users who may feel less comfortable using gestures to control a computer instead of a mouse and keyboard.
The company will not be allowing consumers to sign up for the beta test, Buckwald said.
Buckwald stressed that there would be no further delays, and that the new timeline should not affect announced partnerships with HP and Asus to bundle the Leap controller with their PCs.
“This really isn’t motivated by any major issues,” Buckwald said. “We really believe in meeting our own expectations and I think a little additional testing is needed.”
Buckwald and co-founder David Holz will be hosting an open Q&A on the delays via Google Hangout on Friday, the company said, and will give customers more information on that session soon.