This hands free controller is thought by many of us to be the answer to how to deal with hand movement while wearing a HMD (like an Oculus Rift). Jo Yardley has an article on the progress LEAP Motion is making with their VR effort. See: Leap motion announces VR related progress. She includes a video LEAP made (1:30 min) and a link to the source article at LEAP Motion’s site.
Like many LEAP Motion controller owners, Jo does not use the controller often. Mine mostly sits in the box too. You can find LEAP controllers on eBay cheap. I am hoping that changes when the Oculus or another HMD unit go retail.
I’ve come to believe that while the LEAP is a good idea the tech just isn’t here yet. I have no doubt the LEAP can track hand motion well and that LEAP will continue to improve on that aspect. Oculus and others will get the HMD tech down. But, getting the movement detected by a LEAP and position of things in a virtual world and then accurately display both in an HMD all sync’d up so that it feels real, I don’t see that happening for awhile. I think for the next few years there will be the feel of reaching for a coffee cup in the dark.
I believe shooting games and any where you do not have to touch things, will work well and maintain a sense of presence. But, reaching out and turning a door knob… I don’t see that happening for a few years. But, someone out there may solve the problem.
For now using the LEAP Motion controller requires you learn gestures. In an abstract way that is what we do with a mouse. If you have ever watched a grand parent learn to use a mouse for the first time you understand. I think it is much easier to lean a mouse. Learning to click a mouse is pretty simple and quickly learned.
How do you click with a LEAP Controller? And how about when you are holding something with both hands? Right now different software houses are answering that question differently, meaning there is no consistent way to accomplish that task. I doubt the click-on-it concept concept will go away, change yes, but vanish, no. We will most likely always have to tell a computer which object to act on.
Still, I like Jo think the LEAP style controllers are the way to go… no wires, no attachments.