Leap Motion updates its hand-tracking system for VR

It's been almost three years since Leap Motion started shipping its motion controller. Even as the first units shipped, readers here and elsewhere thought that the Leap's hand-tracking was a natural fit for interacting with virtual reality. Yesterday, Leap released the beta version of Orion, a "part hardware, part software" set of improvements to the system specifically designed to complement this year's upcoming VR headsets.

Leap claims to have made most of the improvements through software. Owners of Leap Motion controllers can download the Orion beta and, according to Leap, experience lower latency, longer range, and improved hand recognition, even against cluttered backgrounds.

The beta also comes with new demos. In the Blocks demo, users can create and manipulate a variety of shapes using what appears to be a fairly intuitive set of gestures. According to Leap, its new new interaction engine gives users fine control over stacking, bumping, and throwing virtual objects.

Part of the challenge for Leap in the coming year is to develop partnerships with the major VR headset manufacturers. Details are slim, of course, but Leap indicates that they're working to embed Orion into VR headsets. Considering that both Oculus and HTC have invested heavily into their own controllers, it'll be interesting to see who (if anyone) wants to add in support for the Leap.

Comments closed
    • Chrispy_
    • 4 years ago

    If only LEAP worked as well as their promotional videos claimed.

    I’m not the coder in the office who deal with our interactive 3D models and DK2 setups, but I sit close enough to him to hear the profanity and badmouthing he spurts when dealing with his LEAP motion controller.

    LEAP has the potential to be amazing
    I want LEAP to be amazing

    We’ll keep using a Kinnect, thanks – because they [i<]actually work[/i<].

      • CityEater
      • 4 years ago

      I’ve tried it a couple of times. It was fine as long as you kept your fingers extended and in frame . As soon as you moved quickly all balled your hands into fists it would just start searching for tracking, even with a fairly neutral background.

      Are you using the new Kinect or the old Kinect? Do you have any links to projects still working with the kinect (as in that I can play with?) because I sort of thought that it had kind of died as a project? I’ve got both of them, could never really get it working right.

      Wish the Leap worked as advertised…

    • thesmileman
    • 4 years ago

    And I just tried it and its still crap and will never be good enough until they get better hardware and software. Seriously this thing is the joke of the dev community and as a VR dev we would never use it because it is so bad and because it won’t be a first party accessory. I wanted to like it but its so limited and such poor tracking if they haven’t got it right by now its either a hardware limitation or poor software. Either way leap motion isn’t the right tool for any job.

      • DPete27
      • 4 years ago

      That’s too bad, because their demo videos (like the one above) are really neat. I do question the applicability for the vast hordes of users though.

    • meerkt
    • 4 years ago

    Never tried it, but it always seemed like a cool controller. Could be nice if it became common/integrated into things.

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