Hey everyone! As part of our global tour for the Leap Motion 3D Jam, we’re at Berlin’s Game Science Centre to take developers through our SDK and building with the latest VR tools. Registrations for the workshops and meetup are still open. The livestream is happening today from 8am–1pm PT (5–10pm CET) at the top of this post – jump into our Twitch channel to join the chat session!

Ahead of the event, we thought we’d give you a quick overview of what to expect. Let’s take a light-speed look at VR development with Leap Motion in Unity and JavaScript.

Why Hands in VR? Escaping from Flatland

We believe that if virtual reality is to be anything like actual reality, then fast, accurate, and robust hand tracking will be absolutely essential. With the Leap Motion Controller, you can quickly bring your hands into almost any virtual reality experience. Our plugins and resources for Unity, Unreal, and WebVR include fully interactive virtual hands that can interact with objects in 3D scenes.

Before you start building, it’s important to know that designing for motion control involves a whole new way of thinking about interactions. Physics engines aren’t designed with hands in mind, and traditional UIs are built for 2D screens. Here are some key resources that will help you build compelling experiences that feel natural:


One of the world’s most popular game engines, Unity makes it easy to rapidly build and develop VR projects. Due to recent changes to the Oculus plugin in Unity, we currently recommend using Unity 5.0 and Oculus 0.5 for your project.


Along with a full Leap Motion + Oculus integration and a variety of demo scenes, our Unity 5 core assets include several additional features that really stand out:

  • Image Passthrough: This gives you access to the raw infrared camera feed from the controller, letting you see the world in ghostly infrared.
  • Image Hands: These bring your real hands into virtual reality, using the live cameras instead of rigged models.
  • UI Widgets: Buttons, sliders, scrollers, and dials that provide the fundamental building blocks for your VR experience.

To get started, download the Core Assets package and dig into the included demo scenes. You can also explore a variety of Unity demos on our Developer Gallery.


The Leap Motion software also includes support for modern browsers through a WebSocket connection. LeapJS, our JavaScript client library, is hosted on a dedicated CDN using versioned URLs to make it easier for you to develop web apps and faster for those apps to load. You also have access to a powerful and flexible plugin framework to share common code and reduce boilerplate development. In particular, the rigged hand lets you add an onscreen hand to your web app with just a few lines of code.

Recently, we’ve been using experimental browsers to play around with virtual reality on the web. Mozilla provides the Oculus integration out of the box with a special VR Firefox build, while the latest Chrome builds are available here. For a quick boilerplate, be sure to check out our VR Quickstart demo, or reach into VR Collage to see a more complex project. Each of these projects is fully documented, and you can find a deep dive into the boilerplate on the Leap Motion blog.

Feeling inspired? Be sure to tune into today’s livestream from 8am–1pm PT (5–10pm CET) and register for the 3D Jam! We can’t wait to see what you’ll build.

Alex Colgan is the senior director of marketing and developer community at Leap Motion. By transforming how we interact with technology, he believes we can make our world feel more human.

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