Leap Motion adds hand signals to mobile VR

Some readers may recall Leap Motion, a rather nifty hand-tracking technology first offered in development kits back in 2012 and subsequently integrated into VR headsets and even some keyboards. Leap's technology has mostly been targeted at desktop VR products, but the company is now applying it to mobile VR experiences with the Leap Motion Mobile Platform. The platform will allow manufacturers to develop and sell mobile VR products with integrated hand tracking controls.

The company says the task of migrating its existing technology to mobile plaforms was quite difficult. The proof's in the pudding, though. Leap claims the new platform requires half as much power as the desktop PC variant but is capable of tracking motion ten times faster than before. The company goes on to boast that the sensors' field-of-view, critical to VR experiences, has increased from 140° by 120° to a comparatively-enormous 180° by 180°.

So far, Leap has built a reference design for the platform based on Samsung's popular Gear VR headset. Leap will show off this kit at VR events starting this month. According to Tom's Hardware, Leap's new hardware ought to "work with any ARM-powered device." The company also expects third-party products based around its product to appear, and has hinted that it's already working with partner companies in that regard.

For the time being, the Leap Motion Mobile Platform is available to developers only. Tom's Hardware says that Leap expects headsets with the platform to start shipping in the second half of 2017.

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