Leap Motion: VR fans will be able to go mobile
December 7, 2016 by Nancy Owano
(Tech Xplore)—Leap Motion has announced it is bringing its technology to mobile platforms.
Nice to hear, as David Holz, co-founder and chief technology officer at Leap Motion, said it indicates "an important shift towards mobile and ubiquitous wearable displays that will eventually be as easy and casual to use as a pair of glasses."
Cherlynn Low in Engadget reported how Leap Motion has expanded its scope to mobile devices. Simply called Mobile Platform, this is a combination of software and hardware.
Low wrote about what Leap Motion has done: (1) built a reference system of its new sensor and platform on top of a Gear VR, shipping to headset makers. (2) bringing demos of its Interaction Engine (for natural hand gestures) in this portable medium to major VR events coming up.
Fast Company described it: "a combination of hardware and software meant to make it possible to track users' hands with untethered devices."
The mobile platform is to be showcased at upcoming events, said Engadget. Low also said, "we're not expecting to see the new sensor show up in actual devices until at least a few months from now."
Holz blogged that "Starting this month, we'll be demoing this system at major VR events with an enhanced version of our Interaction Engine and flagship Blocks demo."
Holz said challenges to build a tracking platform in this space were "immense."
Holz said they had to build "a whole new Leap Motion sensor with higher performance and much lower power. We needed to make the most sophisticated hand tracking software in the world run at nearly 10 times the speed all while making it smoother and more accurate than ever before."
(TechRadar said the software was made to run at nearly 10 times the speed in order to compensate for the lower processing power on smartphones.)
Holz, meanwhile, said they built it with "the absolute maximum field of view that a single sensor can support on a VR headset, which is 180×180 degrees."
Kevin Lee in TechRadar said this 180 x 180 degree field of view was "much wider than the original model's 140 x 120 field of view."
Julian Chokkattu in Digital Trends described the tracking technology in some more detail: "The tracking technology is impressive—it's able to accurately imitate intricate movements of the hand because it tracks every single joint in the hand all the way down to the elbow. The demo allowed us to create blocks with our hands, and it felt natural interacting with them. You can flick them, throw them in the air, catch them, and do just about anything you'd expect to with your hands in the physical world."
Explore further: OSVR dev kit to carry optional faceplate with Leap Motion tech
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