The virtual and augmented reality development company Leap Motion showed off three impressive new dazzling videos this week that will make you want to toss out those Vive motion controllers and Xbox controllers and simply use your hands in virtual reality.
Leap Motion has introduced some developer videos in the past which show users making boxes in virtual reality, playing with geometric shapes and physics, and building environments using incredibly precise hand movements that are kind of hard to fathom. Now the company is giving a look into ways users can play with settings, watch media, interact with the environment through hand cues, and make a lighter out of a hand.
The most exciting function Leap Motion showed off, actually sounds the most boring — interacting with menu settings. However, anyone who has ever used a Wii Remote pointed at a screen to navigate through the interface will know how exciting this is. Leap Motion showed how a user could simply touch buttons and move slider bars as easily as if they were physical buttons on a plane of glass.
When Steve Jobs first introduced the iPhone in 2007, he made fun of competing styluses and said, “We’re going to use the best pointing device in the world, we’re going to use a pointing device that we’re all born with, we’re born with 10 of them, we’re going to use our finger.”
That became the revolutionary idea that propelled the smartphone into the ubiquitous device it is today, but that same functionality has been noticeably absent from the world of virtual and augmented reality. HTC Vive has large hulking motion controllers that allow users to interact with objects in 3D space, and Oculus has a pair of controllers coming out later this year as well. Playstation VR, when it launches on October 13, will also use a set of controllers instead of users’ natural appendages.
The good news is, Leap Motion earlier this year released a developer kit and sensor bar that can be attached directly to and Oculus Rift or HTC Vive to give users a taste of the hand motion controls they’ve developed.
If you don’t have those headsets, just marvel at the new videos below.