Leap Motion debuts Orion VR tech that lets you Jedi-control objects

17 Feb 2016

Leap Motion, which deals with augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR), has revealed its latest tool, Orion, which lets you manipulate virtual objects through your visor like a Jedi.

The VR business is now officially big business, with the recent news that one of Leap Motion’s competitors, the confusingly-similar Magic Leap, raised nearly $800m from investors including Alibaba to develop its own technologies.

Now, in one of its biggest moves into VR, Leap Motion has revealed what Orion actually entails with a rather interesting video.

According to The Verge, Orion is an advanced tracking sensor that can be adapted by VR headset developers to be placed within them and will be able to track very small movements of the hand and replicate them in the visor.


In the demo video and the one presented to those who were at its launch, you are dropped into a scene reminiscent of something from Tron, with the player able to create, stack and obliterate polygons.

Whatever blocks you want in the ‘Blocks’ world they have created, you can choose with a motion-controlled menu.

“It’s part hardware, part software, built from the ground up to tackle the unique challenges of hand tracking for VR,” said Leap Motion in its blog post on the release.

“It comes with a huge increase in the general capabilities of our tracking technology and a profound shift in the reliability guarantees of markerless motion-tracking systems.”

Developers can now get access to a beta build of the Orion SDK, as well as access to the company’s latest version of the Leap Motion sensor to build into existing headsets.

Person using Leap Motion sensor image via Maurizio Pesce/Flickr

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic