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Explorations in VR Design is a journey through the bleeding edge of VR design – from architecting a space and designing groundbreaking interactions to making users feel powerful.

Sound is essential for truly immersive VR. It conveys depth and emotion, builds and reinforces interactions, and guides users through alien landscapes. Combined with hand tracking and visual feedback, sound even has the power to create the illusion of tactile sensation.

In this Exploration, we’ll explore the fundamentals of VR sound design, plus take a deep dive into the auditory world of Blocks. Along the way, we’ll break a few laws of physics and uncover the surprising complexity of physical sound effects.

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Explorations in VR Design is a journey through the bleeding edge of VR design – from architecting a space and designing groundbreaking interactions to making users feel powerful.

Art takes its inspiration from real life, but it takes imagination (and sometimes breaking a few laws of physics) to create something truly human. With last week’s Leap Motion Interaction Engine 1.0 release, VR developers now have access to unprecedented physical interfaces and interactions – including wearable interfaces, curved spaces, and complex object physics.

These tools unlock powerful interactions that will define the next generation of immersive computing, with applications from 3D art and design to engineering and big data. Here’s a look at Leap Motion’s design philosophy for VR user interfaces, and what it means for the future.

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As humans, we are spatial, physical thinkers. From birth we grow to understand the objects around us by the rules that govern how they move, and how we move them. These rules are so fundamental that we design our digital realities to reflect human expectations about how things work in the real world.

At Leap Motion, our mission is to empower people to interact seamlessly with the digital landscape. This starts with tracking hands and fingers with such speed and precision that the barrier between the digital and physical worlds begins to blur. But hand tracking alone isn’t enough to capture human intention. In the digital world there are no physical constraints. We make the rules. So we asked ourselves: How should virtual objects feel and behave?

We’ve thought deeply about this question, and in the process we’ve created new paradigms for digital-physical interaction. Last year, we released an early access beta of the Leap Motion Interaction Engine, a layer that exists between the Unity game engine and real-world hand physics. Since then, we’ve worked hard to make the Interaction Engine simpler to use – tuning how interactions feel and behave, and creating new tools to make it performant on mobile processors.

Today, we’re excited to release a major upgrade to this tool kit. It contains an update to the engine’s fundamental physics functionality and makes it easy to create the physical user experiences that work best in VR. Because we see the power in extending VR and AR interaction across both hands and tools, we’ve also made it work seamlessly with hands and PC handheld controllers. We’ve heard from many developers about the challenge of supporting multiple inputs, so this feature makes it easier to support hand tracking alongside the Oculus Touch or Vive controllers.

Let’s take a deeper look at some of the new features and functions in the Interaction Engine.

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With hands in mobile VR just around the corner, we’ve been working hard to redefine our core user experience. We’ve also needed to make some clearcut decisions about how people access Leap Motion content.

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Creating a sense of space is one of the most powerful tools in a VR developer’s arsenal. In our Exploration on World Design, we looked at how to create moods and experiences through imaginary environments. In this Exploration, we’ll cover some key spatial relationships in VR, and how you can build on human expectations to create a sense of depth and distance.

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This week, we’re excited to share our latest milestone on the road to truly compelling mobile VR. We’ve joined forces with Qualcomm Technologies to combine their Snapdragon 835 mobile platform with our embedded hand tracking technology so that people can interact with mobile VR content using their bare hands.

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Infographic: Universities lead in #VR #AR research, number of headsets is exploding, and 6/10 use #LeapMotion. Click To TweetUniversities are the earliest adopters of virtual and augmented reality. Even in the third age of VR, when the technology is small, inexpensive, and powerful enough that millions of people can own it, universities are still at the bleeding edge of VR research and development.

A recent survey of 553 universities in the VR First Network gives us an exciting look at what’s happening in the space, and what technologies the next generation of graduates are using right now.

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With our thoughts, we make the world.” –The Buddha

Technology has the power to open up new realities. CES 2017 was about making those realities more intelligent, interactive, and human – from imaginary worlds unfolding before our eyes to objects that can talk to you and each other.

Here’s a quick review of our CES journey and what it means for the months and years ahead.

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This week we hit the CES showfloor in Las Vegas with two missions: share our Mobile VR Platform with the world and play “spot Leap Motion in the wild.”

From our home base at the MCNEX booth, we’ve heard some great questions about our technology, roadmap, and vision for the future. Here are the 8 most frequently asked questions we’ve heard so far:

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2016 was a landmark year for virtual reality, but 2017 will be nothing short of surreal. As we look to CES and beyond, it’s also a good time to look back. Here are the top 10 stories from our blog in 2016.

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