Oculus Rift + Leap Motion: VR Perfection?

Leap Motion can now mount directly to the Oculus Rift headset via a clip. Gamers can now use their hands to naturally interact with virtual objects.

If you have ever put on an Oculus Rift headset, you know how awesome it is to be completely immersed in a virtual environment. Until you realize that you can only see what’s in front of you through moving your head back and forth.

I remember putting it on for the first time a few weeks ago, and my friend was showing me a game called “Faceball”, where baseballs would come flying at my face, and I had to position a bat in front of me by moving around my head. It was fun, but as we progressed to other demos and games, if I wanted to actually move around in the world, I had to use a keyboard and mouse. There is also the option of using a gamepad or joystick. The problem is that the Oculus Rift is a virtual reality headset, and not an augmented reality headset, so my vision to anything around me in the real world is completely blocked off by the VR headset.

 For example, trying to play Half-Life 2 with the VR headset is a bit awkward, since I naturally want to stand up while playing, but the keyboard and mouse in on the desk, so I have to sit down to actually move around.

Leap Motion, a company that makes a device for PC/MAC for gesture controls, has now introduced a clip that physically attaches itself to the front of the Oculus Rift headset, so you can have total freedom to interact with objects in the virtual environment. I am guessing that gestures can also be used to control movement in the virtual world.

The video illustrates how accurate the Leap Motion is in identifying movement with the hands, including the points where the fingers bend.

Now that the Oculus Rift DK2 has forward facing cameras, I think it would be awesome to put a small form factor PC such as an Intel NUC or Xi3 Z3RO into a backpack with a battery, and be able to roam around a virtual world with interactive objects based on what the camera sees in front of you!


mchiu is an old-timer, falling in love with video games since the introduction of Pong. Nowadays, his passions in gaming center around social and political issues, game development, promotion of games as an art form, promotion of games as sport, and the business and economics of games.

Published Aug. 28th 2014

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