It’s been five months since we launched the VR tracking beta, and since then we’ve made massive strides. In 2015, we’re building on this momentum with new resources for developers, while advancing support for several key VR platforms. In this post, I’d like to reflect on the year that we just left behind, and what’s coming in 2015. Here are just a few snapshots of the year ahead:
Global community + 3D Jam. With 25,000 new developers registered since August, there are now over 150,000 developers in more than 186 countries building with Leap Motion technology. Indie developers have embraced the possibilities of motion control, with over 150 complete experiences submitted to the Leap Motion 3D Jam – making it the most successful competition in IndieCade history.
New Widgets for VR. To help developers create truly groundbreaking experiences, we’ve been working on a series of fundamental UI elements designed for VR. Starting with smaller elements like buttons, sliders, and scrollers, we’re now taking these fundamental interactions a step further with sci-fi-inspired UIs like the Arm HUD. In the weeks ahead, you’ll see a lot of new developments on this front, including our next big demo – VR Planetarium.
Android beta SDK. Mobile devices have the potential to radically transform how most people see and experience virtual and augmented reality in their everyday lives. In 2015, we’re renewing our focus on our Android SDK, which will combine the robustness of v2 tracking with new resources and optimizations geared towards fast and engaging experiences.
Currently, the SDK supports the Nexus 5 and the Qualcomm Snapdragon 800/805 processor, along with experimental support for the Tegra K1. Tech startups like MotionSavvy are already building with the early alpha version with impressive results. With new resources being added for GearVR and Google Cardboard, we’re looking forward to bringing the SDK to public developer beta very soon.
Building the 3D interactive web. Our partners at Mozilla believe that VR should be as universal and accessible as today’s web. By combining their WebVR API and the LeapJS library, we’re building new experiences designed to work across a variety of platforms. Demos like VRCollage and UI elements like LeapJS Widgets are early experiments in this emerging space.
New hardware prototypes. Last August, we announced the experimental Dragonfly module, with full-color passthrough and super-HD cameras – designed to be embedded by VR OEMs. But Dragonfly isn’t the only prototype that we developed in 2014. Along with the Meadowhawk automotive module (right), there are several more in the works. You’ll hear more about them soon.
Tracking improvements. Across all these platforms and more, our efforts are supported at a fundamental level by ongoing advancements in our core tracking software. We set the bar really high in 2014, with eight updates to our core software over the course of just four months.
With each new release, we’re getting a little closer to our ultimate goal – seamless hand tracking that can match (or even outperform) the human eye. This remains our biggest priority as we continue to push the boundaries of VR and beyond.