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Universities Drive VR/AR Research with Leap Motion


Universities, with their leading roles in research, training and applications, are the earliest adopters of Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality. Even in the third age of VR, when the technology is more affordable, small, convenient and powerful enough that the mass consumers can own it, universities are still at the very forefront of VR research and development.

Virtual reality was born in universities and survived through multiple waves of innovation, failure, and rebirth.

VR First Network recently conducted a survey of 553 universities around the world about what is going on in the space, and what technologies the next generation of students are using right now. This survey reveals some interesting facts.

Highlights: VR/AR in Universities

  • The number of VR headsets at universities has quadrupled since July 2016.
  • 71% of universities own augmented reality headsets. 43% of those are the Microsoft Hololens.
  • There are roughly as many Rift DK1 and DK2 units combined floating around as HTC Vives.
  • 59% of universities have Leap Motion Controllers. That’s more than 5 times any other input device!
  • Gaming and education dominate. However, 25% of universities have projects in psychology, history, healthcare, or cinematic experiences.
  • NVIDIA and Intel dominate GPUs and CPUs, respectively.

*Content Credit: Alex Colgan (Blog.LeapMotion)

Leap Motion

Leap Motion is a computer hardware sensor device that supports hand and finger motions as input, analogous to a mouse but requires no hand contact or touching, manufactured and marketed by Leap Motion, Inc. In 2016, the company released new software designed for hand tracking in virtual reality.

Leap Motion, VR, Hand tracking


The Leap Motion controller is a small USB peripheral device which is designed to be placed on a physical desktop, facing upward. It can also be mounted onto a virtual reality headset. Using two monochromatic IR cameras and three infrared LEDs, the device observes a roughly hemispherical area, to a distance of about 1 meter. The LEDs generate pattern-less IR light and the cameras generate almost 200 frames per second of reflected data. This is then sent through a USB cable to the host computer, where it is analyzed by the Leap Motion software using “complex maths” in a way that has not been disclosed by the company, in some way synthesizing 3D position data by comparing the 2D frames generated by the two cameras. In a 2013 study, the overall average accuracy of the controller was shown to be 0.7 millimeters.

*Content credit: Wikipedia

(Click for larger version, or download the PDF.)

Image Credit: VRFirst


Erick Tran
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