When you get thirsty with your Oculus Rift on, you only have two options: removing the headset or blindly groping for your drink. That’s why we’re developing Quick Switch, a quick and easy control that lets you toggle between VR and video passthrough.

Now available as part of our Unity Core Assets, Quick Switch can be incorporated into any Unity app, even those that don’t use Leap Motion interaction. We’ve posted demos for Mac and Windows on our Developer Gallery – check it out!

How to use Quick Switch

Quick Switch is designed to be used with the Leap Motion Controller mounted on the Oculus Rift. Here’s how to use it:

  1. Make sure you have the latest version of the Leap Motion software and Oculus SDK 4.2+.
  2. Run the Quick Switch demo.
  3. Swipe your hand up or down directly in front of your Leap Motion Controller (between 1 and 3 inches) to transition between AR and VR modes.

From there, you can quickly escape (and dive back into) VR by performing a vertical swipe between one and three inches (2.5 to 7.5 cm) from the Leap Motion Controller. You can swipe from up to down, or down to up – either one works.


How does it work?

We designed Quick Switch to be fast, simple, and easy to use, while not interfering with your apps. Because the hand passes so close to the controller, Quick Switch actually detects the gesture directly using the Image API. This means that the gesture is closer than the typical interaction zone – and extremely unlikely to be used by a regular VR app.


What’s next?

Along with preventing sticky keyboard syndrome, Quick Switch is a big first step in blending and mashing together the real and virtual worlds in ways that we can scarcely imagine. Much like our recent work on the core Widgets and Arm HUD, Quick Switch is designed to give you a big headstart in creating compelling VR/AR experiences.

We’d love to know what new VR resources you’d like to see in 2015 – and how you’d like to use Quick Switch. Let us know in the comments!

Update 1/22/15: Quick Switch functionality is now available for all developers. Read more.

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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