Leap Motion Bringing Hand Gestures to VR Headsets

Wave your hands in the air like you don't care -- well maybe not that spastically. According to The Verge, Leap Motion, the gesture control technology, will be integrated directly into virtual reality headsets. The new software is currently available in beta for interested developers. The tech could start appearing as soon as fall, which is interesting since rumors were flying that Sony's PlayStation VR headset is scheduled for a fall launch.

Leap Motion: Orion

Whatever device features Leap Motion's new tech, it seems that the old shiny matchbox-sized module is being retired, which isn't a bad thing. When we demoed the Leap Motion with Razer's OSVR at last year's GDC, having the module affixed to the faceplate was a clunky solution at best -- especially since it added another wire to the setup. The experience of using hand gestures in VR was smooth with little to no latency.

MORE: What's Next for VR

Instead of relying on a cumbersome (albeit small) hardware, the company has revamped its tracking system with a focus on VR in a project dubbed Orion. The new tech will have the ability to track and identify fingers better. It's potentially a more elegant solution to Oculus Rift and HTC Vive's handheld controllers. However, one can argue that controllers add the physical comfort of gripping and pressing buttons compared to relying on visual confirmation you're interacting with an object.

Overall, VR headsets with Leap Motion integration looks like a step forward. It's a solid alternative to the traditional Bluetooth controller used with the Samsung Gear VR and exponentially enhances the immersion factor. But in the end, Leap Motion and its partner VR companies will need to prove that this solution is up to snuff when it comes to comfort.

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