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Golden Eyed Wiseman! (or woman!)

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I got a chance to use the Leap motion controller (https://leapmotion.com) recently, it was a very cool piece of hardware. Just wanted to let you guys know that it is very sweet, much better than I thought it would be. :) Silky smooth, latency is imperceptible to even my trained eye, and the precision is phenomenal. If anyone has questions about the device, I can give a shot at answering them.


Fri Oct 19, 2012 4:04 am
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Sweet, sounds great. Couple of questions...

1. How big is the useable area/what happens when you push the boundaries of it? Does it cut off or just become less accurate?

2. Does their SDK do the skeletal hand tracking for you?


Fri Oct 19, 2012 4:21 am
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Two Eyed Hopeful

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That's nice to hear the Leap is doing that well - i have ordered an Leap shortly after i discovered the OR on Kickstarter... thought: "Jesus, that must be an incredible combination".
Now i am even more excited to receive the Leap, of course more excitement on the Rift :lol:

Edit: Palmer, were you able to test the combination of two or more Leaps to extend the range? If yes: were there any noticable effect leaving the range of a unit and entering the field of the next nearby. In short - seamless transition?
Edit2: Just noticed Chiriky asked the same :o


Fri Oct 19, 2012 5:08 am
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I've got similar questions.

- What is the effective min and max range of the device? How much does accuracy fall off with distance?
- Does it track hands from any orientation (more bluntly - can you track the back of your hands as well as the front)?
- Does it track anything or does it seem optimized for hand models? We've seen pencils, but what about if you shove your foot or head in front of it - does it model objects generically?


Fri Oct 19, 2012 7:54 am
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I've seen the range listed at 8 cubit feet. Not sure if that is 8'x8'x8' = 512 ft^3 or 8 ft^3^(1/3) = 2 feet on a side. Probably the latter.

Is everyone thinking the primary application would be to mount it to the user in order to capture and represent hand motion? The HMD seems like a good place, since it is already tracked, and would provide the perfect first person perspective on hand position. I think seeing your 'virtual hands' will be very effective.

Of course this adds extra mass and data. Head mounting would also not be the best for tracking finger position.


Fri Oct 19, 2012 8:33 am
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That's really cool, however after seeing the Microsoft hand gesture tracking prototype i think something like that would be more suitable for VR than the Leap..

http://www.engadget.com/2012/10/09/microsoft-research-digits-3d-hand-gesture-tracking/

Still would love to try both!


Fri Oct 19, 2012 11:24 am
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Hmm, so, Palmer got a chance to use Leap Motion before the release...
I wonder what the consumer Rift will use for hand tracking ;)

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Fri Oct 19, 2012 11:37 am
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The dev kits have been out for months so there are probably hundreds of those devices floating around inner circles. I just wish they would have granted my devkit application :(


Fri Oct 19, 2012 11:41 am
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the top would be to have two precise leap motion sensors attached on the wrists like the microsoft prototype to precisely track fingers, and another one on the HMD to track arms movements!


Fri Oct 19, 2012 11:56 am
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crespo80 wrote:
the top would be to have two precise leap motion sensors attached on the wrists like the microsoft prototype to precisely track fingers, and another one on the HMD to track arms movements!


Not sure they have the range to do arm tracking, plus there is the issue of visibility. You would have to be looking at your arms. However magnetic (ie. Hydra) sensors on the arms plus Leap on the wrists for finger tracking would be mega-sweet.


Fri Oct 19, 2012 12:45 pm
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at 70dollars per unit 3 leap motions would not be very expensive anyway, so if its technically possible I hope something like that can be set up

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Fri Oct 19, 2012 1:33 pm
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Awesome to hear that it works well.

I'm not sure how well mounting on the HMD would work, with your head (and tracking space) moving all over the place while it's trying to track your hands. Maybe mounted to the chest or worn as a belt buckle?

It would be ideal if you could attach one to each wrist like the Microsoft tracker. I know that to track things like drawing or typing you need to turn the Leap on its side, so it might not like having its orientation constantly changing.

It seems like it's really designed to remain stationary, which may not be so bad.

On the Leap forum they were talking about linking them together and arcing them around you for use with the Rift. I guess we'll find out what it's capable of soon. Can't wait!

One thing I'm curious about is how well it would be able to track your hands if you're wearing gloves.


Fri Oct 19, 2012 2:00 pm
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Sweet. Good to know its not just smoke and mirrors.

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Fri Oct 19, 2012 5:18 pm
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One Eyed Hopeful

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just had a few questions;

-if the leap is supposed to track 8 x 8x8 why wouldn't you mount it in the HMD?
unless the hardware was larger than advertised? (more HW in the pc?)

-looks like it could fit.
and as for orientation, why not calibrate it to sense in all directions? - or set up software which changes its orientation instead of having to tilt it to the side?

eh, -shrug-


Fri Oct 19, 2012 6:22 pm
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Glad to hear it's making progress, I put in a preorder when it first appeared but was admitedly a little dubious given the state of their website at the time.

Could you share your general impressions using it? It certainly looks like it but from use do you think it would be accurate enough for Rift based cockpit control in mech/flight simulation for example? presenting in game tracked hands and fingers for the virtual dashboard? The issue of tactile feedback would need to be addressed by a glove of some sort with fingertip kickers, much like smartphone and tablet tactile clicks I imagine.

Very excitedly awaiting the Rift and Leap, which altogether with my existing Hydra should make for some very interesting and immersive opportunities.


Fri Oct 19, 2012 6:41 pm
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8 cubic feet is not 8' x 8' x 8' which would be a huge 512 cu ft. (like the size of a small bathroom). It is a cube about 2 feet (less than 1 meter) in length on all sides. Though the volume does not necessarily need to be a cube in shape. It could be, for example, a box with a length of 1' x 2' x 4'.

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Fri Oct 19, 2012 10:50 pm
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One Eyed Hopeful

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that sucks, so I suppose mounting at this point wouldn't work out well would it
obviously unless they made it bigger...

any other interesting facts like that we should know?

I havent looked deep into the leap yet, but in time :P


Sat Oct 20, 2012 7:47 am
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Awesome! I have just two questions:
1. Is the sub mm accuracy across the entire sensing area, or is it just at the fingertips (as in they just average the points in the tip together to get one point at sub mm accuracy)?

2. How restrictive does that 8 cu.ft. volume feel? Will people naturally wander out of that area with an HMD on?

Also, I'm most interested in seeing what the raw data looks like, but I doubt they would show that to anyone now :( .


Sat Oct 20, 2012 11:24 am
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*Ninja Post* Just to help Palmer out here with all of the questions XD

1. How big is the useable area/what happens when you push the boundaries of it? Does it cut off or just become less accurate?
If you leave the field of view it will cut off (because it no longer sees the object). If you go too far away (while inside of the field of view) it will just become less accurate.

2. Does their SDK do the skeletal hand tracking for you?
Yes.

3. What is the effective min and max range of the device? How much does accuracy fall off with distance?
Minimum range is about 1 cm, maximum advertised is 1 meter (we can do longer, but accuracy decreases).

4. Does it track hands from any orientation (more bluntly - can you track the back of your hands as well as the front)?
Yes, or else a person couldn't flip their hand upside-down during normal operation :)

5. Does it track anything or is it optimized for hand models?
We can track anything, but we put a lot of work into optimizing things that people are more likely to interact with.

6. Do they have the range to do arm tracking?
We can do arm tracking as long as we can see the arms.

7. Will mounting on a HMD would work with your head (and tracking space) moving all over the place? Maybe mounted to the chest or worn as a belt buckle?
Moving around isn't an issue, but the coordinates are usually given relative to the Leap (ie: your head or belt or desk). Other frames of reference may be available in the future.

8. If the leap is supposed to track 8x8x8 why wouldn't you mount it in the HMD? unless the hardware was larger than advertised? (more HW in the pc?)
Hardware is small, thin, and light (like two side-by-side packs of gum, and that's with a aluminum enclosure around it).

9. Is the sub mm accuracy across the entire sensing area, or is it just at the fingertips (as in they just average the points in the tip together to get one point at sub mm accuracy)?
It's pretty accurate everywhere :P. I wouldn't think of it in terms of depth cameras or FTIR multi-touch displays, our methods are very unconventional.

10. How restrictive is the 8 cu.ft. volume? Will people naturally wander out of that area with an HMD on?
The Leap FOV is larger than the Oculus FOV. Given proper mounting you should be able to have your hands tracked before they even enter your virtual peripheral vision.

*Poof*


Sun Oct 21, 2012 1:59 pm
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Thanks David for answering our questions!

For those who don't know, David is the Chief Technology Officer at leap motion.

I think I'll pre-order one now since my dev application won't likely work out. Thanks again for clarifying those for us!


Sun Oct 21, 2012 2:30 pm
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I'll probably order one too since I never heard back on my Dev Kit application either.


Sun Oct 21, 2012 2:38 pm
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Thanks for all the answers David. I would like to know more about the handling of occlusion. I am assuming that the leap is using similar optical tech to the kinect (just a lot faster, higher resolution and better overall implemented), and the problem is when one hand occludes another, or an arm occludes the hand, and that kind of situation. Does the leap track the movement using predictive model based on previous known position, momentum and visible limb portions, or does it just assume stationary when occluded?


Sun Oct 21, 2012 5:29 pm
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Golden Eyed Wiseman! (or woman!)

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Sounds awesome!

If it was mounted to an HMD, how would it be affected by items that come in view such as desks, and other random objects in the area? Can the Leap Motion ignore such things, or perhaps provide raw data for other uses?


Sun Oct 21, 2012 6:17 pm
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android78 wrote:
Thanks for all the answers David. I would like to know more about the handling of occlusion. I am assuming that the leap is using similar optical tech to the kinect (just a lot faster, higher resolution and better overall implemented), and the problem is when one hand occludes another, or an arm occludes the hand, and that kind of situation. Does the leap track the movement using predictive model based on previous known position, momentum and visible limb portions, or does it just assume stationary when occluded?


While they may have a preliminary solution in place already, I suspect that solving little complex issues like this was one of the reasons they started the devkit program in the first place.

Also, you can rest assured that you'll have access to some usable data beyond just hand skeletal information because they demoed the use of pencils in the first demo.


Sun Oct 21, 2012 6:51 pm
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If the FOV is wider than the Rifts, and the range is longer than the length of an arm, then it sounds like it will be perfect for hand tracking with the Leap mounted on the front.


Mon Oct 22, 2012 1:16 am
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Quote:
10. How restrictive is the 8 cu.ft. volume? Will people naturally wander out of that area with an HMD on?
The Leap FOV is larger than the Oculus FOV. Given proper mounting you should be able to have your hands tracked before they even enter your virtual peripheral vision.


:woot

This sounds perfect.

Hell, Oculus should integrate it into the rift, if for nothing else than to be able to see hands when you try to see your hands, like we've many rift reviewers do :p

Shut up and take my money (and ship the leap :p)


Mon Oct 22, 2012 8:22 am
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jaybug wrote:
Quote:
10. How restrictive is the 8 cu.ft. volume? Will people naturally wander out of that area with an HMD on?
The Leap FOV is larger than the Oculus FOV. Given proper mounting you should be able to have your hands tracked before they even enter your virtual peripheral vision.


:woot

This sounds perfect.

Hell, Oculus should integrate it into the rift, if for nothing else than to be able to see hands when you try to see your hands, like we've many rift reviewers do :p

Shut up and take my money (and ship the leap :p)



Indeed! It took a minute to sink in, but it sounds like the most idea method to accomplish this. I was trying to figure out how to implement hand tracking when it's not in the FOV of the Leap Motion, but realized it's probably really not that important. If you want a rough estimation of where the hand is, then perhaps the user can wear gloves with integrated accelerometers to give partial orientation. The same could be done with a gun, and probably be tracked when it's in the Leap's FOV. If you do need wider coverage to track the arms/hands, then I suppose you can use multiple units, but I imagine that it's unnecessary under most circumstances. I really hope Oculus can strike a deal with these guys to integrate this system into the consumer version of the Rift. It's crazy how all these practical systems that are ideal for VR are coming to fruition at the same time. Their convergence can make a solid VR experience a reality.


Mon Oct 22, 2012 12:07 pm
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Finger positions are not going to matter that much when your hands are not in view, but if you want basic out-of-view object manipulation then a more comprehensive sensor would be necessary. I think a combo Hydra/Leap device on the wrists (a-la Microsoft) would be a more comprehensive solution. But you probably could still accomplish a lot with a single head mounted Leap.


Mon Oct 22, 2012 12:27 pm
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Perhaps it's feasible to use a simpler, and less precise implementation of the Leap, and place a couple of them around the periphery of the hmd. You might be able to have pretty good skeletal tracking that way. The simpler, and less cumbersome you can make it for the average user, the better. All you need is PS Move type optical tracking, and you have a full solution that's good enough for most uses.


Mon Oct 22, 2012 1:03 pm
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I got to meet David after GDC 2012 and seen their facility. I think the name was Occuspec at the time.

It worked much better than I was expecting.


Tue Oct 23, 2012 7:31 am
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Leap and Rift are definetly two companies that would benefit tremendously from working with each other. Their technologies are perfectly synergistic...

As long as they work to expand the working area of the leap in time for consumer rift launch...

The optimal solution would provide enough coverage for your arms with a full range of motion.

That said, the technical challenge might be a bit high, given that full range of motion is more in the 100+ cubic foot range (6 feet by 6 feet (arm span width) by 3 feet; directly in front rather than behind).

Maybe even a chicken wing arm span (elbow to elbow held out) would be sufficient... 4 by 4 by 2.5 say; 40 cubic feet.

Oh well, definetly looking forward to playing around with both pieces of tech in the coming year.


Wed Oct 24, 2012 2:23 am
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I (and I'm sure just about everyone else who knows of both the Rift and the Leap) initially wondered about the practicality of using the Leap for hand tracking in a VR environment with an HMD. Just by all the feedback and tech reviews, it's pretty clear that the Leap's gonna be a winner, but the only thing I'm slightly apprehensive about is the limited scanning range. But I'm sure if mounted correctly, that can be accommodated for... for your arms and hands at least (I think ;) )

Have both preordered, these next few months are going to be amazing. Two incredible devices!! And together, incrediblererererer :D


Wed Oct 24, 2012 11:34 am
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TheRealistWord wrote:
I (and I'm sure just about everyone else who knows of both the Rift and the Leap) initially wondered about the practicality of using the Leap for hand tracking in a VR environment with an HMD. Just by all the feedback and tech reviews, it's pretty clear that the Leap's gonna be a winner, but the only thing I'm slightly apprehensive about is the limited scanning range. But I'm sure if mounted correctly, that can be accommodated for... for your arms and hands at least (I think ;) )


Mounted correctly? My arms are over 3 feet long. I don't see it as a realistic solution with this version of the Leap.
It won't be possible to follow my hands everywhere, only close to the body.

But I didn't expect as much. From what I've seen it's a great product with its current range.


Thu Oct 25, 2012 9:44 am
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Yeah, I feel like people are extrapolating a lot of Leap functionality from a couple of marketing demos and a few comments. We really know almost nothing about the performance and limitations of this device yet. I remain cautiously optimistic though.


Thu Oct 25, 2012 10:02 am
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mahler wrote:
TheRealistWord wrote:
I (and I'm sure just about everyone else who knows of both the Rift and the Leap) initially wondered about the practicality of using the Leap for hand tracking in a VR environment with an HMD. Just by all the feedback and tech reviews, it's pretty clear that the Leap's gonna be a winner, but the only thing I'm slightly apprehensive about is the limited scanning range. But I'm sure if mounted correctly, that can be accommodated for... for your arms and hands at least (I think ;) )


Mounted correctly? My arms are over 3 feet long. I don't see it as a realistic solution with this version of the Leap.
It won't be possible to follow my hands everywhere, only close to the body.

But I didn't expect as much. From what I've seen it's a great product with its current range.

The point is that, if you mount it on the goggles, the maximum distance it can see should reach the end s of your arms. You won't be holding it with one hand stretched out and trying to take a picture of your other hand. It wouldn't see your feet, but torso and arms should be fine.


Thu Oct 25, 2012 11:33 pm
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NOTE: this post is assuming usage with a devkit Rift. Also, apologies for the numerous run-on sentences.

I might have missed it, but I see quite a few comments about putting the Leap Motion on your head to track, but not about having the Leap mounted on a stationary object so that it is facing you (like the TrackIR's infrared camera), instead of facing up as it would normally be used, to track your Rift or translation (position tracking) at no added (perceptible) latency! True, you couldn't move your head more than ~1 meter back from the Leap, and side-to-side and up-and-down head movement would be more limited than that (I assume), but for sitting down it would offer quite a bit of freedom. "Why not just use TrackIR?" you might ask. Well, the TrackIR 4 (which I have) is obviously worthless for immersive VR due to high latency, and I'm sure version 5 also has perceptible latency.

The first potential problem I see is in using the Leap in this way is keeping the location tracking accurate as you turn your head 180 degress (and thus the Rift is no longer visible to the Leap). I don't know anything about how the Leap tracks, nor anything about the algorithmic challenges involved in tracking real-world objects, so, uh... I'm not sure what my point is, other than it won't be as simple as just having the Leap expect, and track, the Rift's physical shape.

The second problem is hitting your head against whatever surface the Leap is attached while using your Rift! Not a joke, as your range will be limited, and so you might find yourself getting pretty close to the actual location of the Leap.

I cannot wait to get my Leap, and hope it can work well as a head translation tracker for VR!


Sat Oct 27, 2012 11:43 am
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android78 wrote:
The point is that, if you mount it on the goggles, the maximum distance it can see should reach the end s of your arms....
Based on DavidHolz' comment, I conclude it won't be very accurate for me.
Quote:
3. What is the effective min and max range of the device? How much does accuracy fall off with distance?
Minimum range is about 1 cm, maximum advertised is 1 meter (we can do longer, but accuracy decreases).
Distance from my eyes to my the tip of my index-finger is around 110cm

The idea is awesome though... being able to see your hands that easily in VR
Like brantlew said "We really know almost nothing about the performance and limitations of this device yet."
I'll wait and see, but I am trying not to get my hopes up for this based on a few videos in a totally different setting.

Still really looking forward to this device.


Sat Oct 27, 2012 3:32 pm
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Mounting optical sensors like the Leap above your head looking down can help with these type of out-of-view problems.


Sat Oct 27, 2012 4:12 pm
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the TrackIR 4 (which I have) is obviously worthless for immersive VR due to high latency, and I'm sure version 5 also has perceptible latency.


What latency are you referring to? I don't notice anything when using my TrackIR, although I usually only use it with a monitor so latency will not be so perceptible. At 120 fps, they should only have 8ms of frame latency (not sure about the rest of the latency causing possibilities).


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WiredEarp wrote:
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the TrackIR 4 (which I have) is obviously worthless for immersive VR due to high latency, and I'm sure version 5 also has perceptible latency.


What latency are you referring to? I don't notice anything when using my TrackIR, although I usually only use it with a monitor so latency will not be so perceptible. At 120 fps, they should only have 8ms of frame latency (not sure about the rest of the latency causing possibilities).


I've just tried out my TrackIR 4 on my very low latency monitor (at least to my eyes; I cannot tell if there is lag or not) using a self-set "one to one" profile with a smoothing level of 3 (lowest I can use that gets rid of excessive jitter/shakiness), and it looks like I've overestimated the amount of latency. It seems quite responsive. I think I was too into my idea of using the Leap in a mildly "unique" way that I misrepresented the TrackIR. Also, the last time I had used my TrackIR 4 was up close with my noticeably laggy TV in order to improve immersion. Looks like I'll definitely be trying out the TrackIR with the Rift, then! Won't be able to turn my head very far, but having translation in TrackIR 6DOF-supported games might be worth the trade-off.


Sat Oct 27, 2012 9:48 pm
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