According to new reports, developers have come up with a way to merge Leap Motion's gesture controller and the Oculus Rift for computing.
Initially created as a project for a Leap Motion hackathon by a team of the company's engineers, the Leap Motion hack offers VR users a new experience: augmented reality computing. The interface allows users to access regular desktop applications in 3-D space and was created using the Leap Motion Dragonfly prototype sensor and Oculus Development Kit 2. In a demo of the project, Leap software engineer Raffi Bedikian showed how users can interact with a floating menu of square computer interfaces or with apps via a floating menu of circular buttons which include calls, email, chat, calendar, and video. With the resolution of the headset used in the project, small text can be difficult to decipher.
Bedikian and his team do not see the augmented reality headset replacing computer, but working alongside them, and they noted that it may be more useful for some applications than others. "One thing we've learned is that humans are really quite good at spatially arranging things, categorizing them, and remembering where they were. For example, when browsing the web today, your tabs are organized in a list. What if they were clustered by topic, so that you might have your work-related tabs on the left side and your vacation-planning tabs on the right?" said Bedikian in an interview with Wired. Another use for the augmented reality headset could be to take a mini-vacation right at your desk, turning your blah workspace into a lush forest or zen garden, if only for a few minutes. Users could also block out reality, creating a 3-D viewing experience for movies or YouTube videos. The project and demonstration are just experiments at this time; Leap Motion has no plans to make this a commercial product at this time. The consumer Oculus Rift headset is slated for a 2016 release.
Photo: © YouTube/rabedik.