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VR / AR Resource Guide: Leap Motion Controller

Intro

Leap Motion is a small device that tracks the movement of your hands and fingers in real time. It can be used in conjunction with virtual and augmented reality to allow you to grab things without the use of a controller such as the ones that come with the Vive and Oculus. It creates a more immersive experience as you can just use your hands as you usually would to interact with objects. You can also link certain hand gestures to different actions in the virtual world.

 

The Leap Motion can be used by itself with experiences on the desktop and also attached to VR headsets such as the Oculus and Vive to allow you to create VR applications where it tracks your hand motions. The developer SDK is integrated with Unity and Unreal engines allowing people to more easily make applications using the capabilities of the Leap Motion.

How to Set Up

Set up Leap Motion Controller:

1) Go to the Leap Motion setup page, linked here -  https://www.leapmotion.com/setup/

2) Choose whether you are setting the Leap Motion up for your computer or for a VR headset

a) Desktop - https://www.leapmotion.com/setup/desktop/

b) VR - Choose your headset and follow the steps on screen to attach your kit, set up controller and enable external apps to begin exploring

3) To download the developer SDK, follow the link - https://developer.leapmotion.com/#101

4) To begin developing, go to the documentation and choose your platform - https://developer.leapmotion.com/documentation/

Uses

Leap Motion has a gallery that includes many different demos/experiments to explore the functionality of the device. General guidelines for usage include

 

a) Attach to VR headset to see interactions with hands in front of view

 

b) Useful for interacting with objects and interfaces that the user is looking at

 

c) Interacting with simulations of objects for education and training purposes

 

Gallery: https://gallery.leapmotion.com/

Development

Unity Assets
1. Unity Core Assets
  • Basic framework built on native VR integration
  • Includes examples that can be used as guides on how to begin your own projects​
2. Interaction Engine
3. Hands Module

For more information, read in Leap Motion Unity Developer Community.

 

Unreal

Provided through native plugin packaged with the engine

  • Only Windows development supported

VR Design Guideline

1. World Design and Storytelling

a) World space

Does being in the world feel comfortable and natural?

b) User experience

What is the user supposed to be doing?

How is the user supposed to know what to do?

c) Objects in world

Do the objects have a clear and evident purpose?

Are they easily interactable?

d) Testing

Always test everything in headset to ensure it looks and feels how you intend in VR

2. Interactive Design

a) Objects and elements of the UI should imply how user can interact with them

b) Use tutorial prompts to direct user how to interact

3. Orion Tracking

a) Sensor always on & detecting movements

b) Dynamic feedback

c) Keep hands in tracking range or the leap motion can do nothing

d) Not all fingers are visible sometimes

4.  User Safety and Comfort

a) Test to ensure actions and environment are comfortable

b) Don’t randomly move user and objects around as this can cause issues

c) Don't require user to continually look up/down/in many directions

5. Object Interactions

a) Objects should be react when user interacts with them in some way

b) Design grabbable objects with physical characteristics that guide the user in how to use it

6. User Interface Design

a) Make sure clear uses for everything

b) Don’t be too crowded but ensure you have all information you need to interact with environment for purposes of program

More in depth - https://developer.leapmotion.com/explorations