bit-tech.net

Leap Motion launches Oculus Rift hand-tracking add-on

Leap Motion launches Oculus Rift hand-tracking add-on

The Leap Motion finger-tracking sensor may have found its killer app with a mount that allows it to integrate with the Oculus Rift virtual reality headset.

Gesture-control specialist Leap Motion may finally have found the killer app for which it has been searching: a mount to allow integration with the popular Oculus Rift virtual reality headset.

Following some production troubles that delayed the device from its planned 2012 launch date to May 2013, Leap Motion's wireless finger-tracking system hasn't exactly covered itself in glory. The company has enjoyed some design wins, including integration into selected HP laptops, but still remains very much a niche product - even after the launch of Windows 8 and its touch-centric Modern UI redesign.

Now, the company is hoping to make it big in the virtual reality space with a new add-on for the Oculus Rift headset. 'One of the most exciting things to us about virtual reality is that our technology can be more than just your hands – it can be your eyes as well,' claimed company co-founder and chief technology officer David Holz in a blog post regarding the company's plans. 'This builds off the release of a new API which opens up raw infrared imagery straight from our sensors. When mounted directly onto a head-worn display, these images become stereoscopic windows into the world around you. What it sees, you see.'

'This expands the tracking space to be in any direction you’re facing. You can reach forward, turn around, look up and down, and the tracking follows you wherever you go. Because our device’s field of view exceeds that of existing VR displays, you’ll find it can start to track your hands before you even see them. While motion control and virtual reality are both very new platforms, we’ve always been in awe of people’s deep and abiding passion for the dream of a digital and physical convergence. It’s this energy which drives us to work tirelessly until it is a reality.'

To help drive adoption of Leap Motion as a VR accessory, and ahead of the launch of an OEM-specific module dubbed Dragonfly, the company has announced the release of the VR Developer Mount, which allows the company's existing sensor module to be quickly mounted on and removed from the Oculus Rift Developers Kit or Developers Kit 2 (DK2) headset. If you're curious as to how it works, the company has released a demonstration video which is reproduced below.

13 Comments

Discuss in the forums Reply
Parge 29th August 2014, 12:25 Quote
Well that is a stupid idea. Totally blocks all the IR receivers that the Rift uses for movement tracking.
Gareth Halfacree 29th August 2014, 12:30 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Parge
Well that is a stupid idea. Totally blocks all the IR receivers that the Rift uses for movement tracking.
Y'know, I think they might have thought of that during development and testing...
Quote:
Originally Posted by Leap Motion (my emphasis)
Put away your duct tape. In just a few seconds, your Leap Motion Controller and DK1/DK2 will be working together, with no impact on DK2 positional tracking.
The video embedded in the article even shows positional tracking and finger tracking working simultaneously.

(Also, the bits on the headset are just IR LEDs - transmitters, if you like - and not receivers. The receiver is a wall-mounted webcam - it's basically the exact same method used by the Wii 'Sensor Bar' (which is also just a set of dumb LEDs and has no sensor hardware in it whatsoever).
Corky42 29th August 2014, 12:51 Quote
TBH I'm surprised they needed to attach their own IR LEDs, couldn't the Leap Motion Controller pick up IR LEDs already built into the Oculus ?
schmidtbag 29th August 2014, 15:22 Quote
I think this idea is amazing and fantastic. This makes VR so much more immerse and unleashes huge possibilities for games that Kinect couldn't do, while feeling more natural than wearing a pair of gloves that could accomplish the same thing.

I'm very excited to see what else they come up with.
Corky42 29th August 2014, 16:25 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by schmidtbag
I'm very excited to see what else they come up with.

Being able to pick your virtual nose with your virtual finger :D
schmidtbag 29th August 2014, 16:26 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Corky42
Being able to pick your virtual nose with your virtual finger :D

And being able to flick it into your enemy's eyes.
Guinevere 30th August 2014, 02:55 Quote
Things VR Needs:

Lustworthy games / experiences that are experienced 'seated' for nausea reduction.
super high res, low latency displays
über GPUs to drive them
3D head tracking
sub millimetre accurate hand & finger tracking that also works when you're holding a custom controller
sub millimetre accurate tracking that identifies real world objects (EG a solid desk)

See those last two? Nobody has it yet. You need at least two leap motions working in tandem to get accurate finger tracking from all directions and when holding a controller I've yet to see it done. It'll be interesting to see how occulus deals with this. I bet it'll be similar to leap motion.
Star*Dagger 30th August 2014, 08:44 Quote
OR is the most important development since the mouse, easily more important than the graphics card. And next year we will be playing Star Citizen with ORs attached to our heads.

Enjoy the show.

Yours in OR Star Citizen Plasma,
Star*Dagger
Stanley Tweedle 30th August 2014, 13:32 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Star*Dagger
OR is the most important development since the mouse, easily more important than the graphics card. And next year we will be playing Star Citizen with ORs attached to our heads.

Enjoy the show.

Yours in OR Star Citizen Plasma,
Star*Dagger

Yup, I finally got to try it a few weeks ago via a friend of mine. His DK2 arrived. The Oculus was pretty much everything I expected. Flawless lag-free tracking and life-size 3d graphics so solid you want to reach out and touch them.
Nexxo 1st September 2014, 09:48 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Corky42
TBH I'm surprised they needed to attach their own IR LEDs, couldn't the Leap Motion Controller pick up IR LEDs already built into the Oculus ?

I'm sure it could --but that would require making a custom version of Leap Motion Controller. This is just a proof of concept, cobbling together two existing devices to see if it will work. Integration may happen somewhere down the line for the commercial product.
Ficky Pucker 1st September 2014, 23:11 Quote
i'm really temped to buy Oculus Rift :D

i just wonder how taxing is it on the GPU compared to playing on a 2560x1440 monitor ?
schmidtbag 2nd September 2014, 02:52 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ficky Pucker
i'm really temped to buy Oculus Rift :D

i just wonder how taxing is it on the GPU compared to playing on a 2560x1440 monitor ?

Probably not very much - I'm guessing it depends on what's being rendered. The rift has a 1080p screen but the screen is split in half per eye, which may mean that everything is essentially rendered twice. What I personally think would be very interesting for multi-GPU systems is if each eye could be rendered on its own GPU. I think doing this could potentially greatly increase video memory efficiency (compared to regular crossfire/SLi where most of your VRAM is redundant and wasted).
Littletron 4th September 2014, 01:22 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Parge
Well that is a stupid idea. Totally blocks all the IR receivers that the Rift uses for movement tracking.

I have both dk2 and Leap and it does work but its also very buggy not because of the rift but the restriction of detection distance for your hands. if they can sort out that on the leap then this will definatley work amazing well there is huge potential in this. There are limited demos currently and i am no programmer unfortunately.
Log in

You are not logged in, please login with your forum account below. If you don't already have an account please register to start contributing.



Discuss in the forums