A few weeks ago, Leap Motion, best known for their PC-based hand- and finger-tracking hardware, revealed plans to bring that technology to untethered VR and AR headsets. This week, the company released a video showing how the hand tracking tech looks from the point of view of the headset owner.
As the video demo shows, the headset user with the Leap Motion tech can use his or her hands, with no controllers needed, to create shapes in VR space and then hold them with their fingers. They can then make more shapes, of various sizes, and then bat them around or throw them into a virtual lake, again with no external controllers needed.
Leap Motion has already built a reference system on top of the Samsung Gear VR headset to demonstrate its new hardware in trade shows. The company has also incorporated the hand-tracking technology so it can be used by hardware companies who decide to make VR headsets based on Qualcomm’s recently revealed reference design.
The first devices that will actually be based on Qualcomm’s hardware are supposed to be released sometime in the second half of 2017. OEMs have the option of adding Leap Motion’s technology to those devices. Leap Motion has already stated the cost of adding its hand tracking tech is about $10 per unit, which includes hardware and software licensing.
It will be interesting to see how many hardware makers who make the choice to use the Qualcomm VR headset design will also choose to add Leap Motion’s tech to their device as well. Of course, this technology is only as good as the software that runs it, so we will have to wait and see if developers also decide to jump in and support Leap Motion’s hand tracking tech for their apps and games.