My Second Life LEAP Motion Experiment

LEAP Motion Controller is the mouse free controller for your computer. I figured this would be a good device for use with the Oculus Rift. I went on eBay and picked up a near new one for US$50. I tried it out with the default apps and some free games.

It does not come with any app or adaption for Second Life™. One needs a free or retail app to adapt LEAP to SL. Drax made a video showing his experience with LEAP and Second Life.

The app Drax is suing is Game Wave (US$4). I tried some free apps. I didn’t find anything that would work well. So, I tried the app he is using in the video.

It has a good introductory manual, a tutorial if you will. The best I have seen explaining hand gestures for the LEAP.

A person really needs to understand how the LEAP sees the world to understand how it works. Imagine a hemisphere of light extending up from the controller. Stretch it left and right. Imagine a brighter pane of light like glass sheet in the middle of the sphere running left and right. You poke into and pull out of that pane to sort of emulate mouse clicks.

 

LEAP Motion Controller Field

LEAP Motion Controller Field

There are all sorts of gestures. With Game Wave you can assign gestures to Second Life. This is where the problems start.

You may remember back in late January 2013 I wrote: New Second Life Controller Experiment. Simon Linden was experimenting with the LEAP Motion Controller.

But, we never heard much more about LEAP after that. It seems that the Lindens got the controller and experimented with it. They even published the code for the controller to interface with the viewer in:  http://bitbucket.org/simon_linden/viewer-rabbit.

So, what happened? The Lindens ran into an interface problem. How does one decide which gestures to assign to which viewer controls? That turned into a BIG project. In other words it became apparent this would be a lot of work. The project stalled. The Lindens do not see a risk, cost, reward ratio that works for them.

I also think that learning a totally new user interface that people have no prior model to relate to makes for too steep a learning curve. So, this is not s path that the Lab is likely to put much effort into until LEAP takes off, if it does.

Library

Game Wave maintains a library of game interfaces that you can download. Visit: Game Wave Library. There is one set up for SL as I write this. It was made on a Mac, so it is not that handy for Windows, but it is a starting place.

You can also upload your interface setup.

This is the setup as I downloaded it, no changes. The panels are for left and right hands respectively.

Game Wave App - Click Enlarge

Game Wave App – Click Enlarge

This setup has the left and right hands doing lots of things. The left hand uses arrow keys to move and the right hand for camera control. If you use both hands at the same time, things go nuts. It is going to be very difficult to learn. I found it very frustrating.

I suggest that if you try LEAP with Game Wave you start with an empty control set and add controls one at a time. As you learn controls you can add more controls.

I think LEAP has possibilities for use with Oculus. But, I’m not finding LEAP as easy to use as I expected. Having the Game Wave app is a big help.

If I get a setup I like, I’ll upload it.

6 thoughts on “My Second Life LEAP Motion Experiment

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