Since announcing the VR Developer Mount, we’ve heard lots of great questions from developers who are experimenting with virtual and augmented reality. Here are some of the most popular questions we’ve received:
How do I develop with head-mounted tracking?
Updated 9/9/2014: Starting with version 2.1.3, you need to update your application to use the new
POLICY_OPTIMIZE_HMD flag in order to activate head-mounted tracking in your app. (This also means that the option for users to switch between desktop and head-mounted modes is no longer available in the Leap Motion Control Panel.) For more specific setup instructions, check out developer.leapmotion.com/vr.
Does the mount interfere with positional tracking?
To the best of our knowledge, mounting the device doesn’t result in any issues with positional tracking, as we’ve used it successfully during prototyping and demos without encountering any problems. The DK2 and CV1 are actually designed to have many more LEDs than necessary, which allows for experimental uses like this. It’s worth noting that the mount itself doesn’t actually block any LEDs, as occlusion only occurs when the Leap Motion Controller is in place.
Can I connect the controller to the DK2’s extra USB port?
Updated 2/9/2014: After hearing reports of tracking issues from the community, we found that USB speed limitations introduced with the latest version of the Oculus firmware result in low framerates and decreased performance. For the time being, we recommend that you connect the Leap Motion Controller directly to your computer (via the USB extender included free with the mount) instead of the DK2’s built-in port. We’ll keep you posted with any further updates.
Will the mount work with VR platforms other than the Oculus Rift?
Yes, the mount will work with any VR headset that has enough flat surface area to support it, and is part of a setup supported by our Orion beta software.
What are the advantages of the mount over duct tape?
The goal of the mount is to provide a consistent way for developers to experiment with VR projects – with a standard placement and angle. (Besides looking cool, it also ensures that your headset doesn’t get covered in scummy tape glue.)
Is the adhesive easy to remove?
Yes, it can be easily removed. Note, however, that it is single-use only.
Can I have a 3D printing file of the mount?
Yes! The mount is now available for download on Thingiverse. When creating your mount, be sure to use high-resolution printing. You’ll need to use adhesive to attach the mount to your VR headset.
How much do the device and mount weigh?
Not very much at all. The Leap Motion Controller weighs 32 grams (1.15 oz), while the mount weighs 20 grams (0.7 oz).
Why mount the device facing directly outwards?
In some of our initial experiments, we tried angling the Leap Motion Controller slightly downwards. The device could track hands slightly closer to the chest, but video passthrough became very disorienting. For augmented reality applications with real-world infrared image data to be possible, the device had to be aligned with your natural vision – straight ahead. This is also one of several reasons that we decided to mount the device on the headset, rather than the user’s chest.
What can the mounted controller track?
The Leap Motion Controller’s field of view (FOV) is 150 degrees wide and 120 degrees deep (averaging 135 degrees). Since its FOV exceeds that of existing headset displays, your hands will always appear within the virtual FOV.
As for tracking range, the device should be capable of tracking your hands within arm’s length. For fine-tuned interactions, the ideal range is roughly a foot away from the controller. While tracking tends to become less reliable around the edges of the interaction space, people already tend to do less complicated things when their arms are fully extended (as opposed to elbows bent).
Do the Leap Motion Unity assets work with VR?
Yes, our Unity assets make it easy for devs to add Leap Motion and Oculus Rift support to just about any project.
What can I do with raw image passthrough?
Our Image API makes it possible to create augmented reality experiences using raw infrared sensor data. Since the data appears in greyscale, you can also set black to be transparent and white to be opaque, and then layer this imagery over your project. (This would include hands, tools, and nearby objects that reflect infrared light.)
It also allows you to access basic situational awareness when immersed in an opaque virtual world – so that you can quickly switch to the real world to take a sip of water, or escape from a survival horror game without tearing off the headset.
Do you have any questions about the VR Developer Mount, or (more generally) getting started with Leap Motion and VR? Let us know in the comments!
Updated on July 22, 2016.