OSVR dev kit to carry optional faceplate with Leap Motion tech

OSVR dev kit to carry optional faceplate with Leap Motion tech

"3D Output Meets 3D Input," said Leap Motion, the software and hardware company focused on 3D motion-sensing technology, in its Wednesday announcement. Leap Motion and OSVR (Open Source Virtual Reality) announced that the OSVR Hacker Dev Kit will have an optional faceplate with Leap Motion's hardware and software embedded. OSVR, founded by Razer, is described as an "ecosystem" to set an open standard for Virtual Reality input devices, games and output. The kit is scheduled to begin shipping in June but developers can pre-order the HDK and the OSVR faceplate with Leap Motion through the OSVR web store in May.

Nicole Lee in Engadget noted the optional part—it will be available as an optional faceplate in OSVR's hardware developer kit to start and "you can still get the OSVR without the Leap Motion sensors if you want. But, in my mind, you'd definitely want it all in one package."

OSVR is a framework, a cross-platform effort, that brings together input devices, games, and output devices. Wednesday's announcement trumpeted that "integrating natural, controller-free motion tracking with a headset marks an industry milestone." Leap Motion's hand tracking has speed and accuracy. Its technology tracks in-air movement of both hands and all 10 fingers. OSVR has an ecosystem. Users win; in seeking a sense of VR immersion, the idea is for them to be able to create and interact with a wide range of supported content.

Nicole Lee tried it out: "In a brief demo of a prototype model," she said, "I was able to push virtual buttons and slide around virtual volume controls simply with a tap and a swipe of my hands, no controller required. It actually looks and feels very much like our earlier demo of the Leap Motion used with the Oculus Rift, except now it's all in one unit."

For developers, embedding motion control technology means they can write code for a single platform that works across multiple hardware devices. Game engines such as Unity and Unreal will be supported.

Leap Motion also announced that "The OSVR partnership is the first in a future lineup of head mounted displays that will feature Leap Motion's technology built in."

Harry McCracken, technology editor for Fast Company, said, "OSVR is a platform aiming to become "an Android-like force for VR: foundational technology that many companies can use to build products. If it catches on, Leap's could be incorporated into all sorts of VR hardware from all sorts of manufacturers."

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More information: www.leapmotion.com/

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