Next-Generation Leap Motion Sensor Aimed At Virtual Reality

Up until now, independent developers using the Oculus Rift have been strapping the Leap Motion Controller to the front of the VR headset, but the method doesn't provide consistent results. That's about to change, as David Holz, the co-founder and chief technology officer at Leap Motion, announced on Thursday the launch of the company's VR Developer Mount for $19.99, created specifically for the existing $80 Leap Motion Controller hardware for the PC.

According to the report, the Leap Motion mount and sensor attaches to the front of a VR headset like the Oculus Rift, allowing users to "see" their hands in the virtual world from the perspective of the headset.

"If virtual reality is to be anything like actual reality, we believe that fast, accurate, and robust hand tracking will be absolutely essential," Holz wrote. "We believe in the concept of other specialized controllers as well, but our hands themselves are the fundamental and universal human input device."

In addition to the VR Developer Mount, the company has also updated its beta SDK with Unity and C++ examples and a "massively improved" top-down tracking mode. The examples instruct developers on how to use the tracking data and the image overlays from a head-mounted position. This updated SDK can be used with the current-generation hardware.

Holz also provided a peak into the future, revealing that the company is working on a sensor specifically for virtual reality. The device is codenamed "Dragonfly," and it's designed to be embedded by VR device makers. This sensor will include a larger field of view -- 135 degrees, compared to the 100 degrees field of view on the Oculus Rift. The sensor will also feature color and infrared imagery, and a resolution that's greater than HD.

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