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With this week’s Unity Core Asset release, we’ve made a few changes to our Pinch Utilities – including some new features that extend its capabilities! These new utilities have been folded into the main Core Assets package, retiring the former Pinch Utility module.

So what are these new features? We call them Detectors, and they provide a convenient way to detect what a user’s hand is doing. In addition to detecting pinches, you can now detect when the fingers of a hand are curled or extended, whether a finger or palm is pointing in a particular direction, and whether the hand or fingertip are close to one of a set of target objects. (A grab detector is coming soon!)

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For hundreds of years, dead bodies (cadavers) have taught medical students about human anatomy. In cadaver labs, students dissect, touch, rotate, and explore organs in hands-on experiences that make knowledge stick for a lifetime.

Unfortunately, these experiences are out of reach for most of us. Cadaver labs are expensive to run and cadavers are in limited supply, so non-medical students have to settle for secondary learning experiences like iPad apps and websites. These experiences are good, but not nearly as effective as the hands-on learning experiences students get in the lab.

That’s why we created CadaVR, a “living” virtual reality cadaver lab that emulates a real cadaver lab, minus the crowd (4-8 students per cadaver), unforgiving smell, and expensive cost. Not only does CadaVR let students use their hands and other senses to learn about anatomy, but it also has things that are not available in physical labs, such as a simulation of how the heart beats. (If you’re a medical student and you detect a heartbeat in your cadaver, you should probably run!)

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With our latest Unity Core Assets release, we’re excited to unveil full support for the Unity 5.4 beta, which features native support for the HTC Vive. This is the fourth release since the previous installment in this series, when we shared some background on the ground-up re-architecting of our hand data pipeline. Today we’re going to look under the surface and into the future.

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Last year, we featured 6 kickass Unity assets with the power to bring your project to the next level. Since we’re giving away five $100 Unity/Unreal asset credits as part of our 2016 developer survey, we thought we’d share some more cool stuff you can buy with cold hard virtual cash. From a community-created Leap Motion UI design asset, to the awe-inspiring glow effect in Blocks, here are 6 more jaw-dropping Unity assets for your next Orion project.

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Sometimes the right asset can make all the difference. With our 2016 developer survey in full swing, we thought we’d share some great assets that you could buy with one of five $100 Unity/Unreal asset credit prizes!

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Last month, we released our Pinch Utilities Module, making it easier to create experiences based on how we naturally use our hands in the real world. Here are six community projects that are using this fundamental interactive building block for 3D creativity, menu design, and godlike solar system powers.

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Today we’re happy to announce an update to our VR Developer Mount designed to be compatible with the latest generation of VR headsets! The new kit features updated adhesives and a much longer 15-foot USB extension cable, allowing for room-scale flexibility. You can order it now from our web store.

Along with last week’s Unreal 4.11 release and the social possibilities of AltspaceVR, you now have everything you need to play, build, and connect with the Vive. Here’s a quick guide to everything from Lighthouse tracking to Unreal development.

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Earlier today, we released an update to our VR Developer Mount – with 15-foot extension cables and updated adhesives for curved headsets! If you want to adapt your older kit to the Oculus Rift CV1 and HTC Vive, here’s a quick guide that will help:

Thicker Adhesive Strips

The VR Developer Mount has a flat design that works perfectly for flat HMDs like the Rift DK2. To use it on the curved Rift CV1 and Vive faceplates, you’ll need a slightly thicker adhesive strip. This provides a stronger hold along the entire width of the mount.

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Bringing hands into virtual reality just got a major upgrade. Now officially integrated in Unreal Engine 4.11, getnamo’s independent plugin for Leap Motion makes it faster and easier than ever to integrate Leap Motion Orion into your VR projects!

unreal_gif1 This popular community plugin is now the official plugin and brings new features like rigged character hands, Image Hands, passthrough, and built-in support for the Oculus Rift. Visit developer.leapmotion.com/unreal to get started.

The new plugin is also fully compatible with the radically new tracking capabilities of our Orion software. “It’s amazing to see the Leap Motion Controller improve over time in an engine where you have full control,” says getnamo, aka Jan Kaniewski.

“You could see hints of what it could be early on, but it was at times frustrating. Now with Orion that frustration is gone and you can just reach out and touch things. You know they’re not there, but in your mind and in your hands, phantom sensations give you momentary feelings of their solid realness.”

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With the recent release of the Oculus Rift CV1 and 1.3 SDK, this is an exciting time for virtual reality. Here’s what you need to know to start playing and building with the consumer edition.

How can I build in Unity with the 1.3 SDK?

Upgrading to a new SDK can be time-consuming and complicated. But not today! With just one simple Unity patch, you’ll be ready to tackle the brave new world of consumer VR. Using our latest Unity Core Assets, just download Unity 5.3.4p1 and install the OVRPlugin for Unity 1.3.0.

If you’re updating a project from the 0.8 SDK, you’ll also want to check out Oculus’ migration guide.

How about Unreal Engine?

Unreal Engine 4.11 doesn’t currently have Oculus 1.3 support, but is coming soon in the 4.11.1 hotfix. Once it arrives, the new official Leap Motion UE4 plugin should work with it right away.

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