Happy New Year! Today on Developer Labs, raise a glass to 2013 as we cover some of our favorite stories and projects from the past year. Plus, playing GTA V with hand movements, an experimental approach to animation, 3D browsing, and a catapult made from Lego® bricks. To subscribe to our developer newsletter and get updates through email, click here.

2013 in Review

Touchless rocket design, robotic controls, massive art exhibits, live musical performances – it’s been an amazing year at Leap Motion. As 2013 draws to a close, take a look back at the year’s coolest videos and most disruptive projects. Read more »On Developer Labs, you can find deep insights and technical perspectives on Leap Motion projects, natural user interfaces, and developer communities worldwide. Want to contribute a guest post? Submit your proposal.

Community Toolkit

Zoltan Ruzman posted a sample of his high-level Java API, still in development, on the community forums. You can read more about Ruzman’s work on his German-language blog.

Reach into the violent world of Grand Theft Auto V. By simulating a game controller on his computer, Joaquim Rocha was able to translate his hand movements into PlayStation 3 controls. You can see how he created his Leap Motion/PS3 setup on his website.

To see the latest UI elements and sample code shared by the community, check out Links & Libraries. You can share your code in the dev category on our community forums.

Highlights & Innovations

Experimenting with new ways to use 3D motion in digital animation, Second Story used the Leap Motion Controller to create ribbon animations and a new approach to mapping motions on a recording canvas.

Jay posted a video of a Leap Motion-enabled Lego RCX catapult that launches candy into the air.

In this concept video, Keiho Sakapon shows how you can explore and browse pictures in three dimensions using touch and pinch gestures.

Developer Events

All about WebGL at SFHTML5

Thursday, January 23, 2014 @ 5:00 – 10:00 PM
Explore digital playgrounds with Leap Motion experience engineer Isaac Cohen, whose talk “Finding (and Making) your Happy Place” focuses on our power to ask emotional questions through code – including WebRTC, the Web Audio API, and Three.js. The event will be livestreamed on Google Developers Live.