Leap Motion launches Oculus Rift hand-tracking add-on

August 29, 2014 | 10:48

Tags: #finger-tracking #gesture-control #motion-sensing #vr

Companies: #leap-motion #oculus-rift #oculus-vr

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.

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