by Dominic Brennan, Road to VR
The new Leap Motion Mobile Platform consists of hardware and software optimized for VR and AR hand tracking on mobile devices. Building on the success of the original Leap Motion device, the brand new hardware aims to be tightly integrated into future mobile VR headsets.
Designed as a natural motion interface for PC and Mac, the original Leap Motion Controller began shipping in volume in July 2013, for $80. This attractive price was largely achieved by a breakthrough in software; the hardware itself was fairly simple, containing two cameras and three infrared LEDs. Early hand tracking applications which interfaced with traditional displays seemed somewhat abstract, but the compact dimensions and light weight meant that Leap Motion Controllers soon found themselves attached to the front of Oculus Rift development kits. This allowed users to finally ‘see’ their hands in VR, with fully-tracked fingers, marking the beginning of a fruitful relationship between Leap Motion and VR.