This afternoon the folks at Leap Motion have delivered an update to their VR headset mount hardware – and the software therein. They’ve made it possible to use the Leap Motion motion tracking device to put your hands in the virtual reality universe. This – you might be thinking – isn’t strictly new. You’re right. What IS new is the ability to see your hands and work with your hands at the same time as you’re using the HTC Vive’s wireless controllers.
Through a brand new Leap Motion FAQ it’s become clear that the HTC Vive is about to get even more radical – hands! Hands in virtual reality! Just what we’ve always wanted! To make it all work, you’ll need to update at least a couple of bits of software.
If you’re using Unreal Engine from Epic Games, make sure you’re updated to Unreal 4.11. If you’re using Unity, you might have to wait. According to the folks at Leap Motion, the Unity Core Assets are built to use the native VR plugin in Unity 5.3 – but that’s not going to help you much with the Vive because the Vive is not supported.
When Unity 5.4 is released, that’ll change. Unity 5.4 is currently in Beta mode.
If you step into the app AltspaceVR with the Vive and the Leap Motion tracker, you’ll find that you’re able to see both your hands (as digital representations of your hands) and the Vive controllers. It’s very creepy.
Also – if you already have a Leap Motion controller and plan on attaching it to your HTC Vive, you’ll want a USB extender to make it all happen. Apparently the Vive camera creates a situation in which the onboard USB port (open if you’ve attached nothing else to the headset thus far) does not allow enough throughput to make the Leap Motion controller work optimally.
We learned a bit about this earlier this year when Leap Motion first spoke up about their newest update ORION.
Stick around as we continue to dive in on the HTC Vive – with a Leap Motion controller soon enough!
Below you’ll see a video of Leap Motion being attached to Oculus Rift as well!