Leap Motion released their Orion update today, so, naturally, I dropped everything I was doing to rig up a velcro-powered mount for my Leap Motion, stuck it onto my DK2, and went to down with two of the sample apps that they provided, Blocks and Geometric.
I’ve written before about my first attempt at playing with the Leap Motion integration in a sample app that I built, but it’s been quite some time, and I was really impressed with the Orion Update, which is in beta for Windows and available on their site. Orion fixes quite a few of the little quirks that stopped me from diving deeper into gesture input originally, and I had a blast playing with Geometric, a cute little application where shapes come alive and make adorable music.
Recalibrating the Leap Motion seemed to take fewer attempts than it did with the previous version of the software, but that might be because I’m getting better at it. I was majorly impressed with the tracking distance, which helped a lot with not knocking things off of my desk (particularly important for the open water bottle that I had residing beside of me) and how consistently the Leap Motion kept track of my hands even when I was moving them around pretty wildly. I noticed that this seemed better in Geometric than in Blocks, but I think that was because I had stuck the device onto my DK2 with the cable coming out of the left side initially – error is between chair and keyboard on that one.
I’ve had a hard time really embracing gesture input in the past (the haptic feedback that controllers provide is pretty substantial for me) but this was a huge step up, and since I have exactly zero headsets with controllers (I’m looking at you, impossible-to-get-in-touch-with-Valve) I’m actually really excited to play around with this some more. I haven’t taken a look at the SDK yet, but the V2 version of the software was incredibly easy to develop for.
I’ll even mention that, despite the overcast skies in San Francisco today, my room has a ridiculous amount of light in it. Two massive windows = great views, but not-so-ideal tracking conditions, yet Leap with Orion handled it really, really impressively. I’ll be testing again at night when it’s a little lower light to see if there are any differences, but I suspect that it’s not as much of an issue as some users reported it being in previous versions.
Two thumbs up to Leap Motion for this update. I can’t wait to keep playing with it and learning more! If you’re interested in asking specific questions, CTO David Holz will be doing a reddit AMA at 2pm PST tomorrow (Feb. 18th).