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// hovercast

Sci-fi movie interfaces are often breathtaking ways to tell a story, but the next generation of AR/VR interfaces will be clearer and easier to use – with a lot less visual clutter. This week, motion designer Mike Alger released an 18-minute video that digs into the cutting edge of VR interface design using the Leap […]

As the 3D Jam approaches, developers around the globe are already getting a headstart on their projects. Zach Kinstner, the creator behind Hovercast and Firework Factory, has been sharing his latest project through a series of videos – a virtual reality guitar! We caught up with Zach this week to talk about his design process, especially the guitar’s unique combination of visual depth cues.

Boom! The white globe in front of you explodes into an array of color and light. A fraction of a second later – whoosh! – glowing stars streak past your head, leaving you in their colorful wake.

Reaching toward the holographic interface, with the motion of a single finger, you take control of time itself. The firework slows. Stops. Then it begins to recede back to the center. You slow time again as the stars ease past you, watching as the firework surrounds you. Entropy turns on its head again, and the firework calmly implodes into a single white globe.

But how would this firework look in orange and yellow? Exploding in a spiral pattern? You casually switch between holographic menu panels to make some changes. You’re about to find out.

What if you could see through walls like Superman? Beyond the tiny window of our senses, there’s a vast world that we can’t normally access. But that’s going to change. At last week’s SVVR conference, Leap Motion CTO David Holz talked about how the third generation of VR/AR devices will pipe everything from ultrasonic depth sensing to infrared night vision directly into our consciousness.

Along the way, he also shared one of our internal demos, explained how the digital medium will emerge into the real world, and talked about why our kids just might be weirder than any generation in human history. Here’s a quick breakdown of the highlights.

Interaction design can be a delicate balancing act, especially when developing for VR. In the process of building applications and various UX experiments at Leap Motion, we’ve come up with a useful set of heuristics to help us critically evaluate our gesture and interaction designs. You can see these lenses in action in our Planetarium series, where we experimented with bringing together several different UI widgets.

It’s important to note that these heuristics exist as lenses through which to critique and examine an interaction, not as hard and fast rules.

As a human, you’re not born with an intuitive knowledge of what a teapot does. Fortunately, affordances are everywhere, and they control your life.

Hand tracking and virtual reality are both emerging technologies, and combining the two into a fluid and seamless experience can be a real challenge. This month, we’re exploring the bleeding edge of VR design with a closer look at our VR Best Practices Guidelines.

As an optical motion tracking platform, the Leap Motion Controller is fundamentally different from handheld controllers in many ways. Here are 4 tips to designing for the controller’s unique strengths, while avoiding common pitfalls.

Menu interfaces are a vital aspect of most software applications. For well-established input methods – mouse, keyboard, game controller, touch – there are a variety of options and accepted standards for menu systems. For the array of new 3D input devices, especially in virtual reality, the lack of options and standards can create significant development challenges.

Yesterday, I introduced you to Hovercast – a hand-controlled menu interface for virtual reality environments. In this post, we’ll take a closer look at the development process behind Hovercast, including some insights on usability and design for virtual reality.

Hovercast is a menu interface for virtual reality environments. Built as a tool for developers, it’s highly customizable, and can include many nested levels of selectors, toggles, triggers, and sliders. All menu actions – including navigation between levels – are controlled by simple hand movements and reliable gestures.

With input from a Leap Motion Controller, Hovercast radiates from the palm of your hand – becoming a powerful, versatile extension of your virtual self. As you rotate your palm toward your eyes, the Hovercast menu fades into view. A wide arc of menu items extends just beyond your fingertips, and follows your hand’s every movement. You can interact with menu items using the index finger of your opposite hand. To select an item, simply move your fingertip (the cursor) nearby, and hover there for a short time.